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First Edition 1897 
Reprinted 1904 






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A II rights reserved 



PREFATORY NOTE ...... vii 

22ND MAY 1798) ..... i 

OCTOBER 1798 ...... 19 


BER 1800) ....... 29 



TO 29TH DECEMBER 1801) . . . 61 


STH JULY 1802) -77 

JANUARY 1803) . . . . . 139 


(A.D. 1803) 159 


THE Journals written by Dorothy Wordsworth, and her 
reminiscences of Tours made with her brother, are more 
interesting to posterity than her letters. 

A few fragments from her Grasmere Journal were 
included by the late Bishop of Lincoln in the Memoirs 
of his uncle, published in 1850. The Recollections of a 
Tour made in Scotland in 1803, were edited in full by 
the late Principal Shairp in the year 1874 (third edition 
1894). In 1889, I included in my Life of William 
Wordsworth most of the Journal written at Alfoxden, 
much of that referring to Hamburg, and the greater 
part of the longer Grasmere Journal. Some extracts 
from the Journal of a Tour on the Continent made in 
1820 (and of a similar one written by Mrs. Words- 
worth), as well as short records of subsequent visits to 
Scotland and to the Isle of Man, were printed in the 
same volume. None of these, however, were given in 
their entirety ; nor is it desirable now to print them 
in extensQ) except in the case of the Recollections of a 
Tour made in Scotland in 1803. All the Journals con- 
tain numerous trivial details, which bear ample witness 
to the " plain living and high thinking " of the Words- 
worth household and, in this edition, samples of these 


details are given but there is no need to record all the 
cases in which the sister wrote, " To-day I mended 
William's shirts," or " William gathered sticks," or "I 
went in search of eggs," etc. etc. In all cases, however, 
in which a sentence or paragraph, or several sentences 
and paragraphs, in the Journals are left out, the omission 
is indicated by means of asterisks. Nothing is omitted 
of any literary or biographical value. Some persons 
may think that too much has been recorded, others 
that everything should have been printed. As to this, 
posterity must judge. I think that many, in future 
years, will value these Journals, not only as a record of 
the relations existing between Wordsworth and his sister, 
his wife her family and his friends, but also as an 
illustration of the remarkable literary brotherhood and 
sisterhood of the period. 
Coming now to details. 


I do not know of any Journal written at Racedown, 
and I do not think that Dorothy kept one while she and 
her brother lived in Dorsetshire. In July 1797 they 
took up their residence at Alfoxden ; but, so far as is 
known, it was not till the 2oth of January 1798 that 
Dorothy began to write a Journal of her own and her 
brother's life at that place. It was continued un- 
interruptedly till Thursday, 22nd May 1798. It gives 
numerous details as to the visits of Coleridge to 
Alfoxden, and the Wordsworths 5 visits to him at Nethcr- 
Stowey, as well as of the circumstances under which 
several of their poems were composed. Many sentences 
in the Journal present a curious resemblance to words 


and phrases which occur in the poems ; and there is no 
doubt that, as brother and sister made use of the same 
note -book some of Wordsworth's own verses having 
been written by him in his sister's journal the co- 
partnery may have extended to more than the common 
use of the same MS, 

The archaic spellings which occur in this Journal are 
retained; but inaccuracies such as Bartelmy for 
Bartholemew, Crewkshank for Cruikshank are corrected. 
In the edition of 1889 the words were printed as written 
in MS. ; but it is one thing to reproduce the bona fide 
text of a journal, or the ipsissima verba of a poet, and 
quite another to reproduce the incorrect spellings of his 


From the Journal of the days spent at Hamburg in 
1798 when the Words worths were on their way to 
Goslar, and Coleridge to Ratzeburg only a few extracts 
are given, dating from I4th September to 3rd October 
of that year. These explain themselves. 


Of the Grasmere Journals much more is given, and a 
great deal that was omitted from the first volume of the 
Life of Wordsworth in 1889, is now printed. To many 
readers this will be by far the most interesting section 
of all Dorothy Wordsworth's writings. It not only 
contains exquisite descriptions of Grasmere and its 
district- a most felicitous record of the changes of the 


seasons and the progress of the year, details as to flower 
and tree, bird and beast, mountain and lake but it 
casts a flood of light on the circumstances under which 
her brother's poems were composed. It also discloses 
much as to the doings of the Wordsworth household, 
of the visits of Coleridge and others,' while it vividly 
illustrates the peasant life of Westmoreland at the 
beginning of this century. What I have seen of this 
Journal extends from I4th May to 2ist December 
1800, and from loth October 1801 to i6th January 
1803. It is here printed in four sections. 


When the late Principal Shairp edited the Re- 
collections of a Tour made in Scotland in 1803, he 
inserted an elaborate and valuable introduction, with a 
few explanatory and topographical notes. With the 
consent of Mrs. Shairp, and of the Principal's son, 
Sheriff J. C. Shairp, many of them are now repro- 
duced, with the initials J. ( C. S. appended. As some 
notes were needed at these places, and I could only 
have slightly varied the statements of fact, it seemed 
better for the reader, and more respectful to the memory 
of such a Wordsworthian as the late Principal was, to 
record them as his. I cordially thank Mrs. Shairp, and 
her son, for their kindness in this matter. It should be 
added that Dorothy Wordsworth's archaic spelling of 
many of the names of places, such as Lanerk, 
Ulswater, Strath Eyer, Loch Ketterine, Inversneyde, 
etc., are retained. 


These Recollections of the Tour made in Scotland 
were not all written down at the time during- the journey. 
Many of them were " afterthoughts." The Alfoxden and 
Grasmere Journals were " diaries," in the sense that 
except when the contrary is stated they were written 
down day by day ; but certain portions of the Scottish 
Journal suggest either that they were entirely written 
after the return to Grasmere, or were then considerably 
expanded. I have not seen the original MS. Dorothy 
transcribed it in full for her friend Mrs. Clarkson, 
commencing the work in 1803, and finishing it on 3ist 
May 1805 (see vol. ii. p. 78). This transcript I have 
seen. It is the only one now traceable. 

It should be mentioned that Dorothy Wordsworth 
was often quite incorrect in her dates, both as to the 
day of the week and the month. Minute accuracy on 
these points did not count for much at that time ; and 
very often a mistake in the date of one entry in her 
Journal brought with it a long series of future errors. 
The same remark applies to the Grasmere Journal, and 
to the record of the Continental Tour of 1820. 

Many friends and students of Wordsworth regretted 
the long delay in the publication of the Tour made in 
Scotland in 1803. In the Recollections of the Table- 
Talk of Samuel Rogers (1856), p. 208, we find the 
following : "I do indeed regret that Wordsworth has 
printed only fragments of his sister's journal ; it is most 
excellent, and ought to have been published entire," 
It will always hold a place of honour in itinerary litera- 
ture. It possesses a singular charm, and has abiding 
interest, not only as a record of travel, but also as a 
mirror of Scottish life and character nearly a hundred 
years ago. 



The Journal of a Mountain Ramble, by William and 
Dorothy Wordsworth in November 1805, calls for no 
special remark. The ramble was from Grasmere by 
Rydal and Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale and Ullswater, 
thence to the top of Place Fell, at the foot of which 
Wordsworth thought of buying and did afterwards buy 
a small property near the Lake, thence to Yanworth, 
returning to Grasmere by Kirkstone again. The story 
of this "ramble," written by Dorothy, was afterwards 
incorporated in part by William Wordsworth in his prose 
Description of the Scenery of the Lakes another curious 
instance of their literary copartnery. 


In 1820 the poet, his wife, and sister, along with Mr. 
and Mrs. Monkhouse, and Miss Horrocks (a sister of 
Mrs. Monkhouse), spent more than three months on the 
Continent. They left Lambeth on the i oth of July, and 
returned to London in November. Starting from Dover 
on i rth July, they went by Brussels to Cologne, up the 
Rhine to Switzerland, were joined by Henry Crabb 
Robinson at Lucerne, crossed over to the Italian Lakes, 
visited Milan, came back to Switzerland, and passed 
through France to Paris, where they spent a month. 
Dorothy Wordsworth wrote a minute and very careful 
Journal of this tour, taking notes at the time, and 
extending them on her return to Westmoreland. Mrs. 
Wordsworth kept a shorter record of the same journey. 
Crabb Robinson also wrote a diary of it. Wordsworth 


recorded and idealised his tour in a series of poems, 
named by him ct Memorials of a Tour on the Continent, 
1820," very few of which were written on the spot ; and 
when, in the after- leisure of Rydal Mount, he set to 
work upon them, it is evident that he consulted, and 
made frequent use of, the two family Journals, particu- 
larly the one written by his sister. In a letter to Mrs. 
Clarkson from Coblentz, dated 22nd July, Dorothy said : 
" Journals we shall have in abundance ; for all, except 
my brother and Mrs. Monkhouse, keep a journal. Mine 
is nothing but notes, unintelligible to any one but myself. 
I look forward, however, to many a pleasant hour's 
employment at Rydal Mount in filling up the chasms." 

The originals of these two Journals still exist, and it 
is hard to say whether the jottings taken at the time by 
the wife, or the extended Journal afterwards written by 
the sister, is the more admirable, both as a record of 
travel and as a commentary on the poet's work. 
Dorothy's MS. is nearly as long as her Recollections of 
the Scottish Tour of 1803. Extracts from both Journals 
were published in the library edition of the Poems in 
1884, and in the Life of William Wordsworth in 1889 ; 
but these were limited to passages illustrative of the 

It is not expedient to print either Journal in full 
There are, however, so many passages of interest and 
beauty in each presenting a vivid picture of the towns 
and countries through which the Wordsworths passed, 
and of the style of continental travelling in those days 
that it seems desirable to insert more numerous extracts 
from them than those which have been already printed. 
They will be found to illustrate much of the state of 
things in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France in the 


first quarter of the present century ; while they afford an 
interesting contrast to that which meets the eye of the 
traveller, and ministers to his wants, at the present day. 
In the 80 pages extracted from Dorothy's Journal alone, 
it is such passages that have, in the main, been selected. 
In October 1821, Mr. Robinson was a visitor at 
Rydal Mount ; and after reading over the Journals of 
Mrs. and Dorothy Wordsworth, he wrote thus in his 
Diary : 

" znd Oct. '21. I read to-day part of Miss, and also Mrs., 
W/s Journal in Switzerland. They put mine to shame. 1 They 
had adopted a plan of journalising which could not fail to 
render the account amusing and informing. Mrs. W. ? in 
particular, frequently described, as in a panorama, the objects 
around her ; and these were written on the spot : and I re- 
collect her often sitting on the grass, not aware of what kind 
of employment she had. Now it is evident that a succession 
of such pictures must represent the face of the country. Their 
Journals were alike abundant in observation (in which the 
writers showed an enviable faculty), and were sparing of re- 
flections, which ought rather to be excited by than obtruded in 
a book of travels. I think I shall profit on some future occa- 
sion by the hint I have taken." 

Again, in November 1823, Robinson wrote : 

"Finished Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal. I do not know 
when I have felt more humble than in reading it. It is so 
superior to my own. She saw so much more than I did, though 
we were side by side during a great part of the time." 

Robinson advised Dorothy Wordsworth to publish 

1 Perhaps the most interesting entry in Henry ,Crabb Robinson's 
Journal of the tour is the following : "a6tf& June 1820. I made 
some cheap purchases : if anything not wanted can be cheap." 


her Journal of this Continental Tour, and she replied to 
him, 23rd May 1824 : 

" . . . Your advice respecting my Continental Journal is, 
I am sure, very good, provided it were worth while to make a 
book of it, i.e. provided I could do so, and provided it were my 
wish; but it is not. l Far better, 5 I say, 'make another tour, 
and write the Journal on a different plan ! ' In recopying it, I 
should, as you advise, omit considerable portions of the de- 
scription. . . . But, observe, my object is not to make a book, 
but to leave to my niece a neatly-penned memorial of those 
few interesting months of our lives* . . .' ? 

In 1822, Dorothy Wordsworth went with Joanna 
Hutchinson to Scotland, for change of air and scene. 
She wrote of this journey: 

" I had for years promised Joanna to go with her to Edin- 
burgh that was her object ; but we planned a little tour, up 
the Forth to Stirling, thence by track-boat to Glasgow ; from 
Dumbarton to Rob Roy's cave by steam ; stopping at Tarbet ; 
thence in a cart to Inverary ; back again to Glasgow, down 
Loch Fyne, and up the Clyde ; thence on the coach to Lanark ; 
and from Lanark to Moffat in a cart. There we stopped two 
days, my companion being an invalid ; and she fancied the 
waters might cure her, but a bathing-place which nobody 
frequents is never in order ; and we were glad to leave Moffat, 
crossing the wild country again in a cart, to the banks of the 
river Esk. We returned to Edinburgh for the sake of warm 
baths. We were three weeks in lodgings at Edinburgh. 
Joanna had much of that sort of pleasure which one has in first 
seeing a foreign country ; and in our travels, whether on the 
outside of a coach, on the deck of a steamboat, or in whatever 


way we got forward, she was always cheerful, never complain- 
ing of bad fare, bad inns, or anything else. ..." 

It was a short excursion, but was memorialised in 
the usual way by Dorothy's ever ready pen. 


In the following year, 1823, Wordsworth and his 
wife left Lee Priory, " for a little tour in Flanders and 
Holland," as he phrased it in a letter to John Kenyon. 
He wrote i6th May : 

" We shall go to Dover, with a view to embark for Ostend 
to-morrow, unless detained by similar obstacles. From Ostend 
we mean to go to Ghent, to Antwerp, Breda, Utrecht, Amster- 
dam to Rotterdam by Haarlem, the Hague, and Leyden 
thence to Antwerp by another route, and perhaps shall return 
by Mechlin, Brussels, Lille, and Ypres to Calais or direct to 
Ostend as we came. We hope to be landed in England within 
a month. We shall hurry through London homewards, where 
we are naturally anxious already to be, having left Rydal Mount 
so far back as February. ..." 

The extracts taken from Mary Wordsworth's Journal 
show how far they conformed to, and how far they de- 
parted from, their original plan of travel. In them will 
be found the same directness and simplicity, the same 
vividness of touch, as are seen in her Journal of the 
longer tour taken in 1820. 


In 1828, Dorothy Wordsworth went to the Isle of 
Man, accompanied by Mrs. Wordsworth's sister Joanna, 


to visit her brother Henry Hutchinson. This was a 
visit, earlier by five years than that which the poet took 
with his sister to the Isle of Man, before proceeding to 
Scotland, a tour which gave rise to so many sonnets. 
Of the later tour she kept no Journal, but of the earlier 
one some records survive, from which a few extracts 
have been made. 

In conclusion, I must mention the special kindness 
of the late Mrs. Wordsworth, the daughter-in-law of the 
poet, and of Mr. Gordon Wordsworth his grandson, 
in granting free access to all the Journals and MSS. 
they possessed, and now possess. Without their aid 
the publication of these volumes would have been im- 





ALFOXDEN, January 2oth 1798. The green paths down 
the hill-sides are channels for streams. The young 
wheat is streaked by silver lines of water running be- 
tween the ridges, the sheep are gathered together on 
the slopes. After the wet dark days, the country seems 
more populous. It peoples itself in the sunbeams. The 
garden, mimic of spring, is gay with flowers. The 
purple-starred hepatica spreads itself in the sun, and 
the clustering snow-drops put forth their white heads, at 
first upright, ribbed with green, and like a rosebud when 
completely opened, hanging their heads downwards, but 
slowly lengthening their slender stems. The slanting 
woods of an unvarying brown, showing the light through 
the thin net-work of their upper boughs. Upon the 
highest ridge of that round hill covered with planted oaks, 
the shafts of the trees show in the light like the columns 
of a ruin. 

2ist. Walked on the hill-tops a warm day. Sate 
under the firs in the park. The tops of the beeches of a 
brown-red, or crimson. Those oaks, fanned by the sea 
breeze, thick with feathery sea-green moss, as a grove not 
stripped of its leaves. Moss cups more proper than 
acorns for fairy goblets. 

2,2nd. Walked through the wood to Holford. The 
ivy twisting round the oaks like bristled serpents. The 

* In the original MS. there is no title. The above is a de- 
scriptive one, given by the editor. ED. 


day cold a warm shelter in the hollies, capriciously 
bearing berries. Query : Are the male and female 
flowers on separate trees ? 

23^. Bright sunshine, went out at 3 o'clock. The 
sea perfectly calm blue, streaked with deeper colour by 
the clouds, and tongues or points of sand ; on our 
return of a gloomy red. The sun gone down. The 
crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus. The sound of the 
sea distinctly heard on the tops of the hills, which we 
could never hear in summer. We attribute this partly 
to the bareness of the trees, but chiefly to the absence of 
the singing of birds, the hum of insects, that noiseless 
noise which lives in the summer air. 1 The villages 
marked out by beautiful beds of smoke. The turf fading 
into the mountain road. The scarlet flowers of the moss. 

242^. Walked between half-past three and half-past 
five. The evening cold and clear. The sea of a sober 
grey, streaked by the deeper grey clouds. The half dead 
sound of the near sheep-bell, in the hollow of the sloping 
coombe, exquisitely soothing. 

2$tk. Went to Poole's after tea. The sky spread 
over with one continuous cloud, whitened by the light of 
the moon, which, though her dim shape was seen, did 
not throw forth so strong a light as to chequer the earth 
with shadows. At once the clouds seemed to cleave 
asunder, and left her in the centre of a black-blue vault. 
She sailed along, followed by multitudes of stars, small, 
and bright, and sharp. Their brightness seemed con- 
centrated, (half-moon). 

26th. Walked upon the hill-tops ; followed the sheep 
tracks till we overlooked the larger coombe. Sat in the 
sunshine. The distant sheep-bells, the sound of the 

1 Compare Keats, Miscellaneous Poems 

There crept 

A little noiseless noise amongst the leaves 
Born of the very sigh that silence heaves. ED. 

And Coleridge, The ^Eolian Harp 

The stilly murmur of the distant sea 

Tells us of silence. ED. 


stream ; the woodman winding along the half-marked 
road with his laden pony ; locks of wool still spangled 
with the dewdrops ; the blue-grey sea, shaded with 
immense masses of cloud, not streaked ; the sheep 
glittering in the sunshine. Returned through the wood. 
The trees skirting the wood, being exposed more directly 
to the action of the sea breeze, stripped of the net- work 
of their upper boughs, which are stiff and erect, like 
black skeletons ; the ground strewed with the red berries 
of the holly. Set forward before two o'clock. Returned 
a little after four. 

zjtk. Walked from seven o'clock till half-past eight. 
Upon the whole an uninteresting evening. Only once 
while we were in the wood, the moon burst through the 
invisible veil which enveloped her, the shadows of the 
oaks blackened, and their lines became more strongly 
marked. The withered leaves were coloured with a 
deeper yellow, a brighter gloss spotted the hollies ; again 
her form became dimmer; the sky flat, unmarked by 
distances, a white thin cloud. The manufacturer's dog 
makes a strange, uncouth howl, which it continues many 
minutes after there is no noise near it but that of the 
brook. It howls at the murmur of the village stream. 

2S//2. Walked only to the mill. 

29/7/1. A very stormy day. William walked to the 
top of the hill to see the sea. Nothing distinguishable 
but a heavy blackness. An immense bough riven from 
one of the fir trees. 

^ot/t. William called me into the garden to observe 
a singular appearance about the moon. A perfect rain- 
bow, within the bow one star, only of colours more 
vivid. The semi-circle soon became a complete circle, 
and in the course of three or four minutes the whole 
faded away. Walked to the blacksmith's and the 
baker's ; an uninteresting evening. Set forward to Stowey at half-past five. A 
violent storm in the wood ; sheltered under the hollies. 
When we left home the moon immensely large, the sky 


scattered over with clouds. These soon closed in, con- 
tracting the dimensions of the moon without concealing 
her. The sound of the pattering shower, and the gusts 
of wind, very grand. Left the wood when nothing 
remained of the storm but the driving wind, and a few 
scattering drops of rain. Presently all clear, Venus first 
showing herself between the struggling clouds ; after- 
wards Jupiter appeared. The hawthorn hedges, black 
and pointed, glittering with millions of diamond drops ; 
the hollies shining with broader patches of light. The 
road to the village of Holford glittered like another 
stream. On our return, the wind high a violent storm 
of hail and rain at the Castle of Comfort. All the 
Heavens seemed in one perpetual motion when the rain 
ceased ; the moon appearing, now half veiled, and now 
retired behind heavy clouds, the stars still moving, the 
roads very dirty. 

February 1st. About two hours before dinner, set 
forward towards Mr. Bartholemew's. 1 The wind blew 
so keen in our faces that we felt ourselves inclined to 
seek the covert of the wood. There we had a warm 
shelter, gathered a burthen of large rotten boughs blown 
down by the wind of the preceding night. The sun 
shone clear, but all at once a heavy blackness hung over 
the sea. The trees almost roared, and the ground 
seemed in motion with the multitudes of dancing leaves, 
which made a rustling sound, distinct from that of the 
trees. Still the asses pastured in quietness under the 
hollies, undisturbed by these forerunners of the storm. 
The wind beat furiously against us as we returned. Full 
moon. She rose in uncommon majesty over the sea, 
slowly ascending through the clouds. Sat with the 
window open an hour in the moonlight. 

2nd. Walked through the wood, and on to the 
Downs before dinner ; a warm pleasant air. The sun 

1 Mr. Bartholomew rented Alfoxclen, and sub-lot the house to 
Wordsw orth. ED. 


shone, but was often obscured by straggling clouds. 
The redbreasts made a ceaseless song in the woods. 
The wind rose very high in the evening. The room 
smoked so that we were obliged to quit it. Young 
lambs in a green pasture in the Coombe, thick legs, 
large heads, black staring eyes. 

^rd. A mild morning, the windows open at break- 
fast, the redbreasts singing in the garden. Walked with 
Coleridge over the hills. The sea at first obscured by 
vapour ; that vapour afterwards slid in one mighty mass 
along the sea-shore ; the islands and one point of land 
clear beyond it. The distant country (which was purple 
in the clear dull air), overhung by straggling clouds that 
sailed over it, appeared like the darker clouds, which are 
often seen at a great distance apparently, motionless, 
while the nearer ones pass quickly over them, driven by 
the lower winds. I never saw such a union of earth, 
sky, and sea. The clouds beneath our feet spread them- 
selves to the water, and the clouds of the sky almost 
joined them. Gathered sticks in the wood ; a perfect 
stillness. The redbreasts sang upon the leafless boughs. 
Of a great number of sheep in the field, only one stand- 
ing. Returned to dinner at five o'clock. The moonlight 
still and warm as a summer's night at nine o'clock. 

4th. Walked a great part of the way to Stowey with 
Coleridge. The morning warm and sunny. The young 
lasses seen on the hill-tops, in the villages and roads, in 
their summer holiday clothes pink petticoats and blue. 
Mothers with their children in arms, and the little ones 
that could just walk, tottering by their side. Midges or 
small flies spinning in the sunshine ; the songs of the 
lark and redbreast; daisies upon the turf; the hazels 
in blossom ; honeysuckles budding. I saw one solitary 
strawberry flower under a hedge. The furze gay with 
blossom. The moss rubbed from the pailings by the 
sheep, that leave locks of wool, and the red marks with 
which they are spotted, upon the wood. 

52^. Walked to Stowey with Coleridge, returned by 


Woodlands ; a very warm day. In the continued sing- 
ing of birds distinguished the notes of a blackbird or 
thrush. The sea overshadowed by a thick dark mist, 
the land in sunshine. The sheltered oaks and beeches 
still retaining their brown leaves. Observed some trees 
putting out red shoots. Query : What trees are they ? 

th. Walked to Stowey over the hills, returned to 
tea, a cold and clear evening, the roads in some parts 
frozen hard. The sea hid by mist all the day. 

jth. Turned towards Potsdam, but finding the way 
dirty, changed our course. Cottage gardens the object 
of our walk. Went up the smaller Coombe to Wood- 
lands, to the blacksmith's, the baker's, and through 
the village of Holford. Still misty over the sea. The 
air very delightful. We saw nothing very new, or 

g///. Went up the Park, and over the tops of the 
hills, till we came to a new and very delicious pathway, 
which conducted us to the Coombe. Sat a considerable 
time upon the heath. Its surface restless and glittering 
with the motion of the scattered piles of withered grass, 
and the waving of the spiders' threads. On our return 
the mist still hanging over the sea, but the opposite 
coast clear, and the rocky cliffs distinguishable. In the 
deep Coombe, as we stood upon the sunless hill, we saw 
miles of grass, light and glittering, and the insects 

9///-. William gathered sticks. . . . 

jo//;. Walked to Woodlands, and to the waterfall. 
The aclder's-tongue and the ferns green in the low damp 
dell. These plants now in perpetual motion from the 
current of the air ; in summer only moved by the drip- 
pings of the rocks. A cloudy day. 

I ith. Walked with Coleridge near to Stowey. The 
day pleasant, but cloudy. Walked alone to Stowey. Returned in the 
evening with Coleridge. A mild, pleasant, cloudy clay. 
, Walked with Coleridge through the wood. 


A mild and pleasant morning, the near prospect clear. 
The ridges of the hills fringed with wood, showing the 
sea through them like the white sky, and still beyond 
the dim horizon of the distant hills, hanging as it were 
in one undetermined line between sea and sky. 

I4///. Gathered sticks with William in the wood, he 
being unwell and not able to go further. The young 
birch trees of a bright red, through which gleams a 
shade of purple. Sat down in a thick part of the wood. 
The near trees still, even to their topmost boughs, but a 
perpetual motion in those that skirt the wood. The 
breeze rose gently ; its path distinctly marked, till it 
came to the very spot where we were. 

i$t/i. Gathered sticks in the further wood. The 
dell green with moss and brambles, and the tall and 
slender pillars of the unbranching oaks. I crossed the 
water with letters ; returned to Wm. and Basil. A 
shower met us in the wood, and a ruffling breeze. 

i6th. Went for eggs into the Cooinbe, and to the 
baker's ; a hail shower ; brought home large burthens of 
sticks, a starlight evening, the sky closed in, and the 
ground white with snow before we went to bed. 

ijt/i, A deep snow upon the ground. Wm. and 
Coleridge walked to Mr. Bartholomew's, and to Stowey. 
Wm. returned, and we walked through the wood into the 
Coombe to fetch some eggs. The sun shone bright and 
clear. A deep stillnesk in the thickest part of the wood, 
undisturbed except by the occasional dropping of the 
snow from the holly boughs ; no other sound but that of 
the water, and the slender notes of a redbreast, which 
sang at intervals on the outskirts of the southern side of 
the wood. There the bright green moss was bare at the 
roots of the trees, and the little birds were upon it. The 
whole appearance of the wood was enchanting ; and each 
tree, taken singly, was beautiful. The branches of the 
hollies pendent with their white burden, but still showing 
their bright red berries, and their glossy green leaves. 
The bare branches of the oaks thickened by the snow. 


k. Walked after dinner beyond Woodlands. 1 A 
sharp and very cold evening ; first observed the crescent 
moon, a silvery line, a thready bow, attended by Jupiter 
and Venus in their palest hues. 

IQ//Z. I walked to Stowey before dinner; Wm. un- 
able to go all the way. Returned alone ; a fine sunny, 
clear, frosty day. The sea still, and blue, and broad, 
and smooth. 

2Q//2. Walked after dinner towards Woodlands. 

21 st. Coleridge came in the morning, which pre- 
vented our walking. Wm. went through the wood with 
him towards Stowey ; a very stormy night. 

2,2nd. Coleridge came in the morning to dinner. 
Wm. and I walked after dinner to Woodlands ; the moon 
and two planets ; sharp and frosty. Met a razor-grinder 
with a soldier's jacket on, a knapsack upon his back, and 
a boy to drag his wheel. The sea very black, and 
making a loud noise as we came through the wood, loud 
as if disturbed, and the wind was silent. 

z^rd. William walked with Coleridge in the morn- 
ing. I did not go out. 

242/1. Went to the hill -top. Sat a considerable 
time overlooking the country towards the sea. The air 
blew pleasantly round us. The landscape mildly inter- 
esting. The Welsh hills capped by a huge range of 
tumultuous white clouds. The sea, spotted with white, 
of a bluish grey in general, and streaked with darker 
lines. The near shores clear ; scattered farm houses, 
half- concealed by green mossy orchards, fresh straw 
lying at the doors ; hay-stacks in the fields* Brown 
fallows, the springing wheat, like a shade of green over 
the brown earth, and the choice meadow plots, full of 
sheep and lambs, of a soft and vivid green ; a few 

1 This house was afterwards John Kenyon's, to -whom Aurora 
Leigh is dedicated, and was subsequently the residence of the 
Rev. William Nichols, author of The Quantocks and their Associa- 
tions, En. 


wreaths of blue smoke, spreading along the ground ; 
the oaks and beeches in the hedges retaining their 
yellow leaves ; the distant prospect on the land side, 
islanded with sunshine ; the sea, like a basin full to the 
margin ; the dark fresh-ploughed fields ; the turnips of a 
lively rough green. Returned through the wood. 

2,$t/i. I lay down in the morning, though the whole 
day was very pleasant, and the evening fine. We did 
not walk. 

26t/i. Coleridge came in the morning, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Cruikshank 1 ; walked with Coleridge nearly to 
Stowey after dinner. A very clear afternoon. We lay 
sidelong upon the turf, and gazed on the landscape till it 
melted into more than natural loveliness. The sea very 
uniform, of a pale greyish blue, only one distant bay, 
bright and blue as a sky ; had there been a vessel 
sailing up it, a perfect image of delight. Walked to 
the top of a high hill to see a fortification. Again sat 
down to feed upon the prospect ; a magnificent scene, 
curiously spread out for even minute inspection, though 
so extensive that the mind is afraid to calculate its 
bounds. A winter prospect shows every cottage, every 
farm, and the forms of distant trees, such as in summer 
have no distinguishing mark. On our return, Jupiter 
and Venus before us. While the twilight still over- 
powered the light of the moon, we were reminded that 
she was shining bright above our heads, by our faint 
shadows going before us. We had seen her on the tops 
of the hills, melting into the blue sky. Poole called 
while we were absent. 

27^. I walked to Stowey in the evening. Wm. 
and Basil went with me through the wood. The 
prospect bright, yet mildly beautiful. The sea big and 
white, swelled to the very shores, but round and high in 
the middle. Coleridge returned with me, as far as the 
wood. A very bright moonlight night. Venus almost 

1 Of Ncther-Stowey, the agent of the Earl of Egmont. ED. 


like another moon. Lost to us at Alfoxden long before 
she goes down the large white sea- 

March \st. We rose early. A thick fog obscured 
the distant prospect entirely, but the shapes of the 
nearer trees and the dome of the wood dimly seen and 
dilated. It cleared away between ten and eleven. The 
shapes of the mist, slowly moving along, exquisitely 
beautiful ; passing over the sheep they almost seemed to 
have more of life than those quiet creatures. The 
unseen birds singing in the mist. 1 

2nd. Went a part of the way home with Coleridge 
in the morning. Gathered fir apples afterwards under 
the trees. 

$rd. I went to the shoemaker's. William lay under 
the trees till my return. Afterwards went to the 
secluded farm house in search of eggs, and returned 
over the hill. A very mild, cloudy evening. The rose 
trees in the hedges and the elders budding. 

^th. Walked to Woodlands after dinner, a pleasant 

5/#. Gathered fir- apples. A thick fog came on. 
Walked to the baker's and the shoemaker's, and through 
the fields towards Woodlands. On our return, found 
Tom Poole in the parlour. He drank tea with us. 

6th. A pleasant morning, the sea white and bright, 
and full to the brim. I walked to see Coleridge in the 
evening. William went with me to the wood. Coleridge 
very ill. It was a mild, pleasant afternoon, but the 
evening became very foggy ; when I was near Wood- 
lands, the fog overhead became thin, and I saw the 
shapes of the Central Stars. Again it closed, and the 
whole sky was the same. 

7/k. William and I drank tea at Coleridge's. A 
cloudy sky. Observed nothing particularly interesting 
the distant prospect obscured. One only leaf upon 

1 Compare The Keel use, 1. 91 

Her Voice was like a hidden Bird that sang. Eix 


the top of a tree the sole remaining leaf danced 
round and round like a rag blown by the wind. 1 

8t/i. Walked in the Park in the morning. I sate 
under the fir trees. Coleridge came after dinner, so we 
did not walk again. A foggy morning, but a clear sunny 

gtk. A clear sunny morning, went to meet Mr. and 
Mrs. Coleridge. The day very warm. 

loth. Coleridge, Wm., and I walked in the evening 
to the top of the hill. We all passed the morning in 
sauntering about the park and gardens, the children 
playing about, the old man at the top of the hill gathering 
furze ; interesting groups of human creatures, the young 
frisking and dancing in the sun, the elder quietly drinking 
in the life and soul of the sun and air. 

I ith, A cold day. The children went down towards 
the sea. William and I walked to the top of the hills 
above Holford. Met the blacksmith. Pleasant to see 
the labourer on Sunday jump with the friskiness of a cow 
upon a sunny day. 

I 'zth. Tom Poole returned with Coleridge to dinner, 
a brisk, cold, sunny day \ did not walk. 

132^. Poole dined with us. William and I strolled 
into the wood. Coleridge called us into the house. 

5. I have neglected to set down the occurrences 
of this week, so I do not recollect how we disposed of 
ourselves to-day. 

i6tk. William, and Coleridge, and I walked in the 

Park a short time. I wrote to . William very ill, 

better in the evening ; and we called round by Potsdam. 
ijth. I do not remember this day. 

. The Coleridges left us. A cold, windy 

1 Did this suggest the lines in Christabel ? 
The one red leaf, the last of its clan, 
That dances as often as dance it can, 
Hanging so light, and hanging so high, 
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky. ED. 


morning. Walked with them half way. On our return, 
sheltered under the hollies, during a hail- shower. The 
withered leaves danced with the hailstones. William 
wrote a description of the storm. 1 

igth. Wm. and Basil and I walked to the hill-tops, 
a very cold bleak day. We were met on our return by 
a severe hailstorm. William wrote some lines describing 
a stunted thorn. 2 

2oth. Coleridge dined with us. We went more 
than half way home with him in the evening. A very 
cold evening, but clear. The spring seemingly very 
little advanced. No green trees, only the hedges are 
budding, and looking very lovely. 

2 1st. We drank tea at Coleridge's. A quiet shower 
of snow was in the air during more than half our walk. 
At our return the sky partially shaded with clouds. 
The horned moon was set. Startled two night birds 
from the great elm tree. 

22nd. I spent the morning in starching and hanging 
out linen ; walked through the wood in the evening, 
very cold. 

2-$rd. Coleridge dined with us. He brought his 
ballad finished. 3 We walked with him to the Miner's 
house. A beautiful evening, very starry, the horned 

24tA. Coleridge, the Chesters, and Ellen Cruik- 
shank called. We walked with them through the wood. 
Went in the evening into the Coombe to get eggs ; returned 
through the wood, and walked in the park. A duller 
night than last night: a sort of white shade over the 
blue sky. The stars dim. The spring continues to 
advance very slowly, no green trees, the hedges leafless ; 
nothing green but the brambles that still retain their old 

1 See ' ' A whirl-blast from behind the hill ' ' in the ' ' Poetical 
Works," vol. i. p. 238. ED. 

2 See The Thorn, " Poetical Works, " vol. i. p. 239. ED. 

3 The ballad was finished by February 18, 1798. See Early 
Recollections, etc., by Joseph Cottle, vol. i. p. 307 (1837). ED. 


leaves, the evergreens, and the palms, which indeed are 
not absolutely green. Some brambles I observed to-day 
budding afresh, and those have shed their old leaves. 
The crooked arm of the old oak tree points upwards to 
the moon. 

2 $th. Walked to Coleridge's after tea. Arrived at 
home at one o'clock. The night cloudy but not dark. 

26th. Went to meet Wedgwood at Coleridge's after 
dinner. Reached home at half- past twelve, a fine 
moonlight night ; half moon. 

2jtk. Dined at Poole's. Arrived at home a little 
after twelve, a partially cloudy, but light night, very 

2$>th. Hung out the linen. 

2gth. Coleridge dined with us. 

30th. Walked I know not where. 

3 Walked. 

April 1st. Walked by moonlight. 

2nd. A very high wind. Coleridge came to avoid 
the smoke ; stayed all night. We walked in the wood, 
and sat under the trees. The half of the wood perfectly 
still, while the wind was making a loud noise behind us. 
The still trees only gently bowed their heads, as if 
listening to the wind. The hollies in the thick wood 
unshaken by the blast ; only, when it came with a greater 
force, shaken by the rain drops falling from the bare 
oaks above. 

$r<L Walked to Crookham, with Coleridge and Win., 
to make the appeal. Left Wm. there, and parted with 
Coleridge at the top of the hill. A very stormy after- 
noon. . . . 

4//j. Walked to the sea-side in the afternoon. A 
great commotion in the air, but the sea neither grand 
nor beautiful. A violent shower in returning. Sheltered 
under some fir trees at Potsdam. 

5///. Coleridge came to dinner. William and I 
walked in the wood in the morning. I fetched eggs 
from the Coombe. 


67/ Zi _Went a part of the way home with Coleridge. 
A pleasant warm morning, but a showery day. Walked 
a short distance up the lesser Coombe, with ar inten- 
tion of going to the source of the brook, but the evening 
closing in, cold prevented us. The Spring still advan- 
cing very slowly. The horse-chestnuts budding, and the 
hedgerows beginning to look green, but nothing fully 

7///. Walked before dinner up the Coombe, to the 

source of the brook, and came home by the tops of the 
hills; a showery morning, at the hill -tops; the view 
opened upon us very grand. 

8/. Easter Sunday. Walked in the morning in 
the wood, and half way to Stowey ; found the air at 
first oppressively warm, afterwards very pleasant. 

qtk. Walked to Stowey, a fine air in going, but very 
hot in returning. The sloe in blossom, the hawthorns 
green, the larches in the park changed from black to 
green in two or three days. Met Coleridge in returning. 

lQ th. I was hanging out linen in the evening. 
We walked to Holford. I turned off to the baker's, and 
walked beyond Woodlands, expectingto meet William, met 
him on the hill ; a close warm evening ... in bloom. 

i\th. In the wood in the morning, walked to the 
top of the hill, then I went down into the wood. A 
pleasant evening, a fine air, the grass in the park 
becoming green, many trees green in the dell. 

I2/& Walked in the morning in the wood. In the 
evening up the Coombe, fine walk. The Spring 
advances rapidly, multitudes of primroses, dog-violets, 
periwinkles, stitchwort. 

i^th. Walked in the wood in the morning. In the 
evening went to Stowey. I staid with Mr. Coleridge. 
Wm. went to Poole's. Supped with Mr. Coleridge. 

itfh. Walked in the wood in the morning. The 
evening very stormy, so we staid within doors. Mary 
Wollstonecraft's life, etc., came. 

i yh. Set forward after breakfast to Crookham, and 


returned to dinner at three o'clock. A fine cloudy 
morning. Walked about the squire's grounds. Quaint 
waterfalls about, about which Nature was very success- 
fully striving- to make beautiful what art had deformed 
ruins, hermitages, etc. etc. In spite of all these 
things, the dell romantic and beautiful, though every- 
where planted with unnaturalised trees. Happily we 
cannot shape the huge hills, or carve out the valleys 
according to our fancy. 

1 6th. New moon. William walked in the wood hi 
the morning. I neglected to follow him. We walked 
in the park in the evening. . . . 

1 7/7/. Walked in the wood in the morning. In the 
evening upon the hill. Cowslips plentiful. 

i8/7/. Walked in the wood, a fine sunny morning-, 
met Coleridge returned from his brother's. He dined 
with us. We drank tea, and then walked with him 
nearly to Stowey. . . . 

iC)th. . . . 

2O/7/. Walked in the evening up the hill dividing 
the Coombes. Came home the Crookham way, by the 
thorn, and the " little muddy pond." Nine o'clock at 
our return. William all the morning engaged in weari- 
some composition. The moon crescent. Peter Bell 

34/7*. Walked a considerable time in the wood. 
Sat under the trees, in the evening walked on the top of 
the hill, found Coleridge on our return and walked with 
him towards Stowey. 

2$th. Coleridge drank tea, walked with him to 

26//2J. William went to have his picture taken. 1 I 
walked with him. Dined at home. Coleridge and he 
drank tea. 

1 This was the earliest portrait of Wordsworth by W. Shutter. It 
is now in the possession of Mrs. St. John, Ithaca, U.S.A. ED. 


272$. Coleridge breakfasted and drank tea, strolled 
in the wood in the morning, went with him in the even- 
ing through the wood, afterwards walked on the hills : 
the moon, a many-coloured sea and sky. 

28/^5 Saturday. A very fine morning, warm weather 
all the week. 

May 6tA, Sunday. Expected the painter, and Cole- 
ridge. A rainy morning very pleasant in the evening. 
Met Coleridge as we were walking out. Went with him 
to Stowey ; heard the nightingale ; saw a glow-worm. 

jth* Walked in the wood in the morning. In the 
evening, to Stowey with Coleridge who called. 

8. Coleridge dined, went in the afternoon to tea 
at Stowey. A pleasant walk home. 

gtk. . . . Wrote to Coleridge. 

Wednesday^ i6th May. Coleridge, William, and 
myself set forward to the Chedder rocks ; slept at 

22nd, Thursday. 1 Walked to Chedder. Slept at 

1 It is thus written in the MS., but the 22nd May 1798 was a 
Tuesday. If the entry refers to a Thursday, the day of the month 
should have been written 24th. Dorothy Wordsworth was not 
exact as to dates. ED 







QUITTED London, Friday, I4th September 1798. 
Arrived at Yarmouth on Saturday noon, and sailed on 
Sunday morning at eleven o'clock. Before we heaved 
the anchor I was consigned to the cabin, which I did not 
quit till we were in still water at the mouth of the Elbe, 
on Tuesday morning at ten o'clock. I was surprised to 
find, when I came upon deck, that we could not see the 
shores, though we were in the river. It was to my eyes 
a still sea. But oh ! the gentle breezes and the gentle 
motion ! . . . As we advanced towards Cuxhaven the 
shores appeared low and flat, and thinly peopled ; here 
and there a farm-house, cattle feeding, hay-stacks, a 
cottage, a windmill. Some vessels were at anchor at 
Cuxhaven, an ugly, black-looking place. Dismissed a 
part of our crew, and proceeded in the packet-boat up 
the river. 

Cast anchor between six and seven o'clock. The 
moon shone upon the waters. The shores were visible 
rock ; here and there a light from the houses. Ships 
lying at anchor not far from us. We 2 drank tea upon 
deck by the light of the moon. I enjoyed solitude and 
quietness, and many a recollected pleasure, hearing still 

1 This is not Dorothy's own title. Her Journal has no title. ED, 

2 i.e. William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, and 
Chester. ED. 


the unintelligible jargon of the many tongues that 
gabbled in the cabin. Went to bed between ten and 
eleven. The party playing at cards, but they were 
silent, and suffered us to go to sleep. At four o'clock in 
the morning we were awakened by the heaving of the 
anchor, and till seven, in the intervals of sleep, I enjoyed 
the thought that we were advancing towards Hamburgh ; 
but what was our mortification on being told that there 
was a thick fog, and that we could not sail till it was 
dispersed. I went on to the deck. The air was cold 
and wet, the decks streaming, the shores invisible, no 
hope of clear weather. At ten however the sun appeared, 
and we saw the green shores. All became clear, and 
we set sail. Churches very frequent on the right, with 
spires red, blue, sometimes green ; houses thatched or 
tiled, and generally surrounded with low trees. A 
beautiful low green island, houses, and wood. As we 
advanced, the left bank of the river became more 

The houses warm and comfortable, sheltered with 
trees, and neatly painted. Blankenese, a village or town 
scattered over the sides of three hills, woody where the 
houses lie and sleep down below, the houses half-con- 
cealed by, and half-obtruding themselves from, the low 
trees. Naked boats with masts lying at the bare feet of 
the Blankenese hills. Houses more and more frequent 
as we approach Hamburgh. The banks of the Elbe 
more steep. Some gentlemen's seats after the English 
fashion. The spires of Altona and Hamburgh visible a 
considerable time. At Altona we took a boat, and 
rowed through the narrow passages of the Elbe, crowded 
with vessels of all nations. Landed at the Boom House, 
where we were received by porters, ready to carry our 
luggage to any part of the town. William went to seek 
lodgings, and the rest of the party guarded the luggage. 
Two boats were about to depart. An elegant English 
carriage was placed in one, and presently a very pretty 
woman, conducted by a gentleman, seated herself in It, 


and they rowed off. The other contained a medley crew 
of all ages. There was an old woman, with a blue cap 
trimmed with broad silver lace, and tied under her chin. 
She had a short coloured cloak, etc. While we stood in 
the street, which was open on one side to the Elbe, I 
was much amused by the various employments and 
dresses of the people who passed before us. . . . There 
were Dutch women with immense straw bonnets, with 
flat crowns and rims in the shape of oyster shells, with- 
out trimming, or with only a plain riband round the 
crown, and literally as large as a small-sized umbrella. 
Hamburgher girls with white caps, with broad over- 
hanging borders, crimped and stiff, and long lappets of 
riband. Hanoverians with round borders, showing all 
the face, and standing upright, a profusion of riband. 
. . . Fruit-women, with large straw hats in the shape 
of an inverted bowl, or white handkerchiefs tied round 
the head like a bishop's mitre. Jackets the most com- 
mon, often the petticoat and jacket of different colours. 
The ladies without hats, in dresses of all fashions. 
Soldiers with dull -looking red coats, and immense 
cocked hats. The men little differing from the English, 
except that they have generally a pipe in their mouths. 
After waiting about an hour we saw Wm. appear. Two 
porters carried our luggage upon a sort of wheelbarrow, 
and we were conducted through dirty, ill-paved streets to 
an inn, where, with great difficulty, and after long seek- 
ing, lodgings had been procured for us 

Breakfasted with Mons. de Loutre. Chester and I 
went to the promenade. People of all ranks, and in 
various dresses, walking backwards and forwards. 
Ladies with small baskets hanging on their arms, long 
shawls of various colours thrown over their shoulders. 
The women of the lower order dressed with great 
modesty. . . . Went to the French theatre, in the 
evening. . . . The piece a mixture of dull declamation 
and unmeaning rant. The ballet unintelligible to us, as 


the story was carried on in singing. The body of the 
house very imperfectly lighted, which has a good effect 
in bringing out the stage, but the acting was not very 
amusing. . . . 

Sunday. William went in the boat to Harburgh. 
In our road to the boat we looked into one of the large 
churches. Service was just ended. The audience 
appeared to be simply composed of singing boys dressed 
in large cocked hats, and a few old women who sat in 
the aisles. . . . Met many bright-looking- girls with white 
caps, carrying black prayer-books in their hands. . . . 
Coleridge went to Ratzeberg at five o'clock in the 
diligence. Chester accompanied me towards Altona. 
The streets wide and pleasant in that quarter of the 
town. Immense crowds of people walking for pleasure, 
and many pleasure- waggons passing and repassing. 
Passed through a nest of Jews. Were invited to view 
an exhibition of waxwork. The theatres open, and the 
billiard-tables attended. The walks very pleasing between 
Hamburgh and Altona. A large piece of ground 
planted with trees, and intersected by gravel walks. 
Music, cakes, fruit, carriages, and foot-passengers of all 
descriptions. A very good view of the shipping, and of 
Altona and the town and spires of Hamburgh. I could 
not but remark how much the prospect would have suffered 
by one of our English canopies of coal smoke. The ground 
on the opposite side of the Elbe appears marshy. There 
are many little canals or lines of water. While the 
sun was yet shining pleasantly, we were obliged to blink 
perpetually to turn our eyes to the church clock. The 
gates are shut at half-past six o'clock, and there is no 
admittance into the city after that time. This idea 
deducts much from the pleasure of an evening walk. 
You are haunted by it long before the time has 
elapsed. . . . 

Wednesday. Dined with Mr. Klopstock. Had the 
pleasure of meeting his brother the poet, a venerable old 
man, retaining the liveliness and alertness of youth, 


though he evidently cannot be very far from the grave. 
. . . The party talked with much interest of the French 
comedy, and seemed fond of music. The poet and his 
lady were obliged to depart soon after six. He sus- 
tained an animated conversation with William during the 
whole afternoon. Poor old man ! I could not look 
upon him, the benefactor of his country, the father oi 
German poetry, without emotion. . . . 

During my residence in Hamburgh I have never seen 
anything like a quarrel in the streets but once, and that 
was so trifling that it would scarcely have been noticed 
in England. ... In the shops (except the established 
booksellers and stationers) I have constantly observed a 
disposition to cheat, and take advantage of our ignorance 
of the language and money. . . . 

Thursday ', 2%tA September. William and I set for- 
ward at twelve o'clock to Altona. . . . The Elbe in the 
vicinity of Hamburgh is so divided, and spread out, that 
the country looks more like a plain overflowed by 
heavy rain than the bed of a great river. We went 
about a mile and a half beyond Altona : the roads dry 
and sandy, and a causeway for foot-passengers. . . 
The houses on the banks of the Elbe, chiefly of brick, 
seemed very warm and well built. . . . 

The small cottage houses seemed to have little 
gardens, and all the gentlemen's houses were surrounded 
by gardens quaintly disposed in beds and curious knots, 
with ever- twisting gravel walks and bending poplars. 
The view of the Elbe and the spreading country must be 
very interesting in a fine sunset. There is a want of 
some atmospherical irradiation to give a richness to the 
view. On returning home we were accosted by the first 
beggar whom we have seen since our arrival at Ham- 

Friday, zgf/i. Sought Coleridge at the bookseller's, 
and went to the Promenade. ... All the Hamburghers 
full of Admiral Nelson's victory. 

Called at a baker's shop. Put two shillings into 


the baker's hands, for which I was to have had four 
small rolls. He gave me two. I let him understand 
that I was to have four, and with this view I took one 
shilling" from him, pointed to it and to two loaves, and 
at the same time offering it to him. Again I took up 
two others. In a savage manner he half knocked the 
rolls out of my hand, and when I asked him for the 
other shilling he refused to return it, and would neither 
suffer me to take bread, nor give me back my money, 
and on these terms I quitted the shop. I am informed 
that it is the boast and glory of these people to cheat 
strangers, that when a feat of this kind is successfully 
performed the man goes from the shop into his house, 
and triumphantly relates it to his wife and family. The 
Hamburgher shopkeepers have three sorts of weights, 
and a great part of their skill, as shopkeepers, consists 
in calculating upon the knowledge of the buyer, and 
suiting him with scales accordingly. . . . 

Saturday ', ^ot/i September. The grand festival of 
the Hamburghers, dedicated to Saint Michael, observed 
with solemnity, but little festivity. Perhaps this might 
be partly owing to the raininess of the evening. In the 
morning the churches were opened very early. St. 
Christopher's was quite full between eight and nine 
o'clock. It is a large heavy-looking building, immense, 
without either grandeur or beauty ; built of brick, and 
with few windows. . . . There are some pictures, . . . 
one of the Saint fording the river with Christ upon his 
back a giant figure, which amused me not a little. . . . 
Walked with Coleridge and Chester upon the promenade. 
. . . We took places in the morning in the Brunswick 
coach for Wednesday. 

Sunday^ ist October. Coleridge and Chester went to 
Ratzeberg at seven o'clock in the morning. . . . William 
and I set forward at half-past eleven with an intention of 
going to Blankenese. . . . The buildings all seem solid 
and warm in themselves, but still they look cold from 
their nakedness of trees. They are generally newly 


built, and placed in gardens, which are planted in front 
with poplars and low shrubs, but the possessors seem to 
have no prospective view to a shelter for their children. 
They do not plant behind their houses. All the build- 
ings of this character are near the road which runs at 
different distances from the edge of the bank which rises 
from the river. This bank is generally steep, scattered 
over with trees which are either not of ancient growth, 
or from some cauSe do not thrive, but serve very well 
to shelter and often conceal the more humble dwellings, 
which are close to the sandy bank of the river. . . . 
We saw many carnages. In one of them was Klop- 
stock, the poet. There are many inns and eating-houses 
by the roadside. We went to a pretty village, or nest 
of houses about a league from Blankenese, and beyond 
to a large open field, enclosed on one side with oak 
trees, through which winds a pleasant gravel walk. 
On the other it is open to the river. . . . When we were 
within about a mile and a half or two miles of Altona, 
we turned out of the road to go down to the river, and 
pursued our way along the path that leads from house to 
house. These houses are low, never more than two 
storeys high, built of brick, or a mixture of brick and 
wood, and thatched or tiled. They have all window- 
shutters, which are painted frequently a grey light green, 
but always painted. We were astonished at the exces- 
sive neatness which we observed in the arrangement of 
everything within these houses. They have all window 
curtains as white as snow ; the floors of all that we saw 
were perfectly clean, and the brass vessels as bright as a 
mirror. ... I imagine these houses are chiefly inhabited 
by sailors, pilots, boat-makers, and others whose business 
is upon the water. 

Monday^ October 2nd. William called at Klopstock's 
to inquire the road into Saxony. Bought Burgher's 
poems, the price 6 marks. Sate an hour at Remnant's. 
Bought Percy's ancient poetry, 14 marks. Walked on 
the ramparts ; a very fine morning 





May 141/1, 1 800. Wm. and John set off into York- 
shire after dinner at half-past two o'clock, cold pork in 
their pockets. I left them at the turning of the Low- 
wood bay under the trees. My heart was so full that I 
could hardly speak to W. when I gave him a farewell 
kiss. I sate a long time upon a stone at the margin of 
the lake, and after a flood of tears my heart was easier. 
The lake looked to me, I knew not why, dull and melan- 
choly, and the weltering on the shores seemed a heavy 
sound. I walked as long as I could amongst the stones 
of the shore. The wood rich in flowers ; a beautiful 
yellow (palish yellow) flower, that looked thick, round, 
and double the smell very sweet (I supposed it was a 
ranunculus), crowfoot, the grassy-leaved rabbit-looking 
white flower, strawberries, geraniums, scentless violets, 
anemones, two kinds of orchises, primroses, the heck- 
berry very beautiful, the crab coming out as a low 
shrub. Met an old man, driving a very large beautiful 
bull, and a cow. He walked with two sticks. Came home 
by Clappersgate. The valley very green ; many sweet 
views up to Rydale, when I could juggle away the fine 
houses ; but they disturbed me, even more than when I 
have been happier ; one beautiful view of the bridge, 
without Sir Michael's. 1 Sate down very often, though it 

1 i.e. Rydal Hall, the residence of Sir Michael le Fleming. 


was cold. I resolved to write a journal of the time, till 
W. and J. return, and I set about keeping- my resolve, 
because I will not quarrel with myself, and because I 
shall give William pleasure by it when he comes home 
again. At Rydale, a woman of the village, stout and 
well dressed, begged a half-penny. She had never she 
said done it before, but these hard times ! Arrived at 
home, set some slips of privet, the evening cold, had a fire, 
my face now flame-coloured. It is nine o'clock. I shall 
now go to bed. ... Oh that I had a letter from William. 

Friday Morning^ i&h. Warm and mild, after a fine 
night of rain. . . . The woods extremely beautiful with 
all autumnal variety and softness. I carried a basket for 
mosses, and gathered some wild plants. Oh ! that we 
had a book of botany. All flowers now are gay and 
deliciously sweet. The primrose still prominent ; the 
later flowers and the shiny foxgloves very tall, with their 
heads budding. I went forward round the lake at the 
foot of Loughrigg Fell. I was much amused with the 
busyness of a pair of stone-chats ; their restless voices as 
they skimmed along the water, following each other, 
their shadows under tjiem, and their returning back to 
the stones on the shore, chirping with the same unwearied 
voice. Could not cross the water, so I went round by 
the stepping-stones. . . . Rydale was very beautiful, 
with spear-shaped streaks of polished steel. . . . Gras- 
mere very solemn in the last glimpse of twilight. It 
calls home the heart to quietness. I had been very 
melancholy. In my walk back I had many of my 
saddest thoughts, and I could not keep the tears within 
me. But when I came to Grasmerc I felt that it did me 
good. I finished my letter to M. H. . . . 

Saturday. Incessant rain from morning till night. 
. . . Worked hard, and read Midsummer Nighfs 
Dream, and ballads. Sauntered a little in the garden. 
The blackbird sate quietly in its nest, rocked by the 
wind, and beaten by the rain. 


Sunday ) iS/A Went to church, slight showers, a cold 
air. The mountains from this window look much 
greener, and I think the valley is more green than ever. 
The corn begins to shew itself. The ashes are still bare. 
A little girl from Coniston came to beg. She had lain 
out all night. Her step-mother had turned her out of 
doors ; her father could not stay at home " she flights so." 
Walked to Ambleside in the evening round the lake, the 
prospect exceeding beautiful from Loughrigg Fell. It 
was so green that no eye could wear}' of reposing upon 
it. The most beautiful situation for a home, is the field 
next to Mr. Benson's. I was overtaken by two Cumber- 
land people who complimented me upon my walking. 
They were going to sell cloth, and odd things which 
they make themselves, in Hawkshead and the neighbour- 
hood. . . . Letters from Coleridge and Cottle. John 
Fisher 1 overtook me on the other side of Rydale. He 
talked much about the alteration in the times, and 
observed that in a short time there would be only two 
ranks of people, the very rich and the very poor, " for 
those who have small estates," says he, " are forced to sell, 
and all the land goes into one hand." Did not reach 
home till ten o'clock. 

Monday. Sauntered a good deal in the garden, 
bound carpets, mended old clothes, read Timon of 
Athens, dried linen. . . . Walked up into the Black 
Quarter. 2 I sauntered a long time among the rocks 
above the church. The most delightful situation possible 

1 Their neighbour at Town-End, who helped Wordsworth to 
make the steps up to the orchard, in Dove Cottage garden. ED. 

2 I think that this name was given to a bit of the valley to the 
north-east of Grasmere village ; but Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's 
opinion is that ' ' ' The Black Quarter ' was simply the family nick- 
name for Easedale. The phrase seems to disappear from the 
Journals as they got more accustomed to local names. It is an 
excellent description of the usual appearance of these fells, and 
makes a contrast to the name of the White Moss, which lay behind 
Dove Cottage ; as Easedale lay in front, and was equally in their 
thoughts." ED. 



for a cottage, commanding" two distinct views of the vale 
and of the lake, is among those rocks. . . . The quietness 
and still seclusion of the valley affected me even to pro- 
ducing the deepest melancholy. I forced myself from it. 
The wind rose before I went to bed. . . . 

Tuesday Morning. A fine mild rain. . . . Every- 
thing green and overflowing with life, and the streams 
making a perpetual song, with the thrushes, and all 
little birds, not forgetting the stone- chats. The post 
was not come in. I walked as far as Windermere, and 
met him there. 

Saturday -, May 242/1. Walked in the morning to 
Ambleside. I found a letter from Wm. and one from 
Mary Hutchinson. Wrote to William after dinner, worked 
in the garden, sate in the evening under the trees. 

Sunday. . . . Read Macbeth in the morning ; sate 
under the trees after dinner. . . . g l wrote to my brother 
Christopher. . . . On my return found a letter from 
Coleridge and from Charles Lloyd, and three papers. 

Monday, May 2,6th. . . . Wrote letters to J. H., 
Coleridge, Col. LI., and W. I walked towards Rydale, 
and turned aside at my favourite field. The air and the 
lake were still. One cottage light in the vale, and so 
much of day left that I could distinguish objects, the 
woods, trees, and houses. Two or three different kinds 
of birds sang at intervals on the opposite shore. I sate 
till I could hardly drag myself away, I grew so sad. 
"When pleasant thoughts," etc. 1 . . . 

Tuesday ', 27th. I walked to Ambleside with letters 
. . . only a letter from Coleridge. I expected a letter 
from Wm. It was a sweet morning, the ashes in the 
valley nearly in full leaf, but still to be distinguished, quite 
bare on the higher ground. . . . 

1 Compare Lines written in Early Spring t " Poetical Works," 
vol. i. p. 269 

IiUhat sweet mood when pleasant thoughts 

Bring sad thoughts to the mind. ED. 


Wednesday. In the morning walked up to the rocks 
above Jenny Dockeray's. Sate a long time upon the 
grass ; the prospect divinely beautiful If I had three 
hundred pounds, and could afford to have a bad interest for 
my money, I would buy that estate, and we would build 
a cottage there to end our days in. I went into her 
garden and got white and yellow lilies, etc., periwinkle, 
etc., which I planted. Sate under the trees with my 
work. Worked between 7 and 8, and then watered 
the garden. A beautiful evening. The crescent moon 
hanging above Helm Crag. 

Thursday. In the morning worked in the garden 
a little. Read King John. Miss Simpson, and Miss 
Falcon, and Mr. S. came very early. Went to Mr. 
Gill's boat. Before tea we fished upon the lake, and 
amongst us caught 13 ! . . . 

Friday. In the morning went to Ambleside, forget- 
ting that the post does not come till the evening. How 
was I grieved when I was so informed. I walked back, 
resolving to go again in the evening. It rained very 
mildly and sweetly in the morning as I came home, but 
came on a wet afternoon and evening, and chilly. I 
caught Mr. OllifPs lad as he was going for letters. He 
brought me one from Wm. and 12 papers. I planted 
London Pride upon the wall, and many things on the 
borders. John sodded the wall. As I came past Rydale 
in the morning, I saw a heron swimming with only its 
neck out of water. It beat and struggled amongst the 
water, when it flew away, and was long in getting loose. 

Saturday. A sweet mild rainy morning. Grundy the 
carpet man called. I paid him i : 105. Went to the 
blind man's for plants. I got such a load that I was 
obliged to leave my basket in the road, and send Molly 
for it. ... 

Sunday \ June 1st. Rain in the night. A sweet mild 
morning. Read ballads. Went to church. Singers 
from Wytheburn. Walked upon the hill above the 
house till dinner time. Went again to church. After tea, 


went to Ambleside, round the Lakes. A very fine warm 
evening. Upon the side of Loughrigg my heart dis- 
solved in what I saw : when I was not startled, but 
called from my reverie by a noise as of a child paddling 
without shoes. I looked up, and saw a lamb close to 
me. It approached nearer and nearer, as if to examine 
me, and stood a long time. I did not move. At last, it 
ran past me, and went bleating along the pathway, 
seeming to be seeking its mother. I saw a hare on the 
high road. . . . 

Monday. A cold diy windy morning. I worked in 
the garden, and planted flowers, etc. Sate under the 
trees after dinner till tea time. ... I went to Ambleside 
after tea, crossed the stepping-stones at the foot of 
Grasmere, and pursued my way on the other side of 
Rydale and by Clappersgate. I sate a long time to watch 
the hurrying waves, and to hear the regularly irregular 
sound of the dashing waters. The waves round about 
the little Island seemed like a dance of spirits that rose 
out of the water, round its small circumference of 
shore. Inquired about lodgings for Coleridge, and 
was accompanied by Mrs. Nicholson as far as Rydale. 
This was very kind, but God be thanked, I want not 
society by a moonlit lake. It was near eleven when I 
reached home. I wrote to Coleridge, and went late to 

Wednesday. . . . I walked to the lake-side in the morn- 
ing, took up plants, and sate upon a stone reading ballads. 
In the evening I was watering plants, when Mr. and Miss 
Simpson called, and I accompanied them home, and we 
went to the waterfall at the head of the valley. It was 
very interesting in the twilight, I brought home lemon- 
thyme, and several other plants, and planted them by 
moonlight. I lingered out of doors in the hope of hear- 
ing my brother's tread. 

Thursday. -I sate out of doors great part of the day 
and worked in the garden. Had a letter from Mr. 
Jackson, and wrote an answer to Coleridge, The little 


birds busy making love, and pecking the blossoms and 
bits of moss off the trees. They flutter about and about, 
and beneath the trees as I lie under them. 1 I would 
not go far from home, expecting my brother. I rambled 
on the hill above the house, gathered wild thyme, and 
took up roots of wild columbine. Just as I was return- 
ing with my load, Mr. and Miss Simpson called. We 
went again upon the hill, got more plants, set them, and 
then went to the blind man's, for London Pride for Miss 
Simpson. I went up with them as far as the black- 
smith's, a fine lovely moonlight night. 

Friday. Sate out of doors reading the whole after- 
noon, but in the morning I wrote to my aunt Cookson. 
In the evening I went to Ambleside with Coleridge's 
letter. It was a lovely night as the day had been. I 
went by Loughrigg and Clappersgate and just met the 
post at the turnpike. He told me there were two letters but 
none for me, so I was in no hurry and went round again by 
Clappersgate, crossed the stepping-stones and entered 
Ambleside at Matthew Harrison's. A letter from Jack 
Hutchinson, and one from Montagu, enclosing a 3 note. 
No William ! I slackened my pace as I came near home, 
fearing to hear that he was not come. I listened till 
after one o'clock to every barking dog, cock-fighting, and 
other sports. Foxgloves just coming into blossom. 

Saturday. A very warm cloudy morning, threatening 
to rain. I walked up to Mr. Simpson's to gather goose- 
berries. It was a very fine afternoon. Little Tommy 
came down with me. We went up the hill, to gather sods 
and plants ; and went down to the lake side, and took up 
orchises, etc. I watered the garden and weeded. I did 
not leave home, in the expectation of Wm. and John, and 
sitting at work till after 1 1 o'clock I heard a foot at the 
front of the house, turn round, and open the gate. It 
was William ! After our first joy was over, we got 

1 Compare The Green Linnet, in the " Poetical Works, " vol. ii. 
p. 367. ED. 


some tea. We did not go to bed till 4 o'clock in the 
morning, so he had an opportunity of seeing our improve- 
ments. The buds were staying ; and all looked fresh, 
though not gay. There was a greyness on earth and 
sky. We did not rise till near 10 in the morning. We 
were busy all day in writing letters to Coleridge, 
Montagu, etc. Mr. and Miss Simpson called in 
the evening. The little boy carried our letters to 
Ambleside. We walked with Mr. and Miss S. home, 
on their return. . . . We met John on our return 

Monday gth. In the morning W. cut down the 
winter cherry tree. I sowed French beans and weeded. 
A coronetted landau went by, when we were sitting upon 
the sodded wall. The ladies (evidently tourists) turned 
an eye of interest upon our little garden and cottage. 
Went round to Mr. Gill's boat, and on to the lake to fish. 
We caught nothing. It was extremely cold. The reeds 
and bullrushes or bullpipes of a tender soft green, making 
a plain whose surface moved with the wind. The reeds 
not yet tall. The lake clear to the bottom, but saw no 
fish. In the evening I stuck peas, watered the garden, 
and planted brocoli. Did not walk, for it was very cold. 
A poor girl called to beg, who had no work, and was 
going in search of it to Kendal. She slept in Mr. 
Benson's . . . and went off after breakfast in the morn- 
ing with yd. and a letter to the Mayor of Kendal. 

Tuesday iot7i. A cold, yet sunshiny morning. John 
carried letters to Ambleside. Wni. stuck peas. After din- 
ner he lay down. John not at home. I stuck peas alone. 
Cold showers with hail and rain, but at half-past five, 
after a heavy rain, the lake became calm and very 
beautiful. Those parts of the water which were perfectly 
unruffled lay like green islands of various shapes. 
William and I walked to Ambleside to seek lodgings for 
C. No letters. No papers. It was a very cold cheerless 
evening. John had been fishing in Langdale and was 
gone to bed. 


A very tall woman, tall much beyond the measure 
of tall women, called at the door. She had on a very 
long brown cloak and a very white cap, without bonnet. 
Her face was excessively brown, but it had plainly 
once been fair. She led a little bare-footed child about 
two years old by the hand, and said her husband, 
who was a tinker, was gone before with the other 
children. I gave her a piece of bread. Afterwards on 
my way to Ambleside, beside the bridge at Rydale, I saw 
her husband sitting by the roadside, his two asses feed- 
ing beside him, and the two young children at play upon 
the grass. The man did not beg. 1 passed on and 
about a quarter of a mile further I saw two boys before me, 
one about 10, the other about 8 years old, at play chas- 
ing a butterfly. They were wild figures, not very ragged, 
but without shoes and stockings. The hat of the elder 
was wreathed round with yellow flowers, the younger 
whose hat was only a rimless crown, had stuck it round 
with laurel leaves. They continued at play till I drew 
very near, and then they addressed me with the begging- 
cant and the whining voice of sorrow. I said " I served 
your mother this morning," (The boys were so like the 
woman who had called at ... that I could not be mistaken.) 
" ! " says the elder, " you could not serve my mother for 
she's dead, and my father's on at the next town he's a 
potter." I persisted in my assertion, and that I 
would give them nothing. Says the elder, " Let's away," 
and away they flew like lightning. They had however 
sauntered so long in their road that they did not reach 
Ambleside before me, and I saw them go up to Matthew 
Harrison's house with their wallet upon the elder's 
shoulder, and creeping with a beggar's complaining foot. 
On my return through Ambleside I met in the street the 
mother driving her asses, in the two panniers of one of 
which were the two little children, whom she was chiding 
and threatening with a wand which she used to drive on 
her asses, while the little things hung in wantonness over 
the pannier's edge. The woman had told me in the 


morning that she was of Scotland, which her accent 
fully proved, but that she had lived (I think at Wig- 
toun), that they could not keep a house and so they 
travelled. 1 

Wednesday^ i $th June? A very cold morning. We 
went on the lake to set pike floats with John's fish. W. 
and J. went . . . alone. Mr. Simpson called, and I accom- 
panied him to the lake side. My brothers and I again 
went upon the water, and returned to dinner. We landed 
upon the island where I saw the whitest hawthorn I 
have seen this year, the generality of hawthorns are 
bloomless. I saw wild roses in the hedges. Wm. and 
John went to the pike floats. They brought in two pikes. 
I sowed kidney beans and spinnach. A cold evening. 
Molly stuck the peas. I weeded a little. Did not walk. 

Thursday ', i/^thjune. William and I went upon the 
water to set pike floats. John fished under Loughrigg. 
We returned to dinner, two pikes boiled and roasted. A 
very cold air but warm sun. W. and I again went upon 
the water. We walked to Rydale after tea, and up to 
potter's. A cold night, but warmer. 

Friday ', i^th June. A rainy morning. W. and J. 
went upon the lake. Very warm and pleasant, gleams 
of sunshine. Caught a pike 7-| Ibs. Went upon the 
water after tea, Mr. Simpson trolling. 

Saturday. A fine morning but cloudy. W. and John 
went upon the lake. I staid at home. We drank tea at 
Mr. Simpson's. Stayed till after 10 o'clock. 

Sunday. John walked to Coniston. W. and I 
sauntered in the garden. Afterwards walked by the lake 
side. A cold air. We pushed through the wood. 
Walked behind the fir grove, and returned to dinner. 
The farmer and the blacksmith from Hawkshead called. 

1 Compare the poem Beggars, in the " Poetical Works," vol. ii. 
pp. 276-281. ED. 

2 This and the two following dates are incorrectly given. They 
should be "Wednesday nth, Thursday isth, and Friday I3th 
June." ED, 


Monday. Wm. and I went to Brathay by Little 
Langdale and Collath, and .... It was a warm mild 
morning with threatening rain. The vale of Little Lang- 
dale looked bare and unlovely. Goliath was wild and 
interesting, from the peat carts and peat gatherers. The 
valley all perfumed with the gale and wild thyme. The 
woods about the waterfall bright with rich yellow broom. 
A succession of delicious views from ... to Brathay. 
We met near ... a pretty little boy with a wallet over 
his shoulder. He came from Hawkshead and was going 
to sell a sack of meal. He spoke gently and without 
complaint. When I asked him if he got enough to eat, 
he looked surprised, and said Nay. He was 7 years old 
but seemed not more than 5. We drank tea at Mr. 
Ibbetson's, and returned by Ambleside. Lent ^3 : 93. to 
the potter at Kendal. Met John on our return home at 
about 10 o'clock. Saw a primrose in blossom. 

Tiiesday. We put the new window in. I ironed, and 
worked about a good deal in house and garden. In the 
evening we walked for letters. Found one for Coleridge 
at Rydale, and I returned much tired. 

Wednesday. We walked round the lake in the 
morning and in the evening to the lower waterfall at 
Rydale. It was a warm, dark, lowering evening. 

Thursday. A very hot morning. W. and I walked 
up to Mr. Simpson's. W. and old Mr. S. went to fish 
in Wytheburn water. I dined with John and lay under 
the trees. The afternoon changed from clear to cloudy, 
and to clear again. John and I walked up to the water- 
fall, and to Mr. Simpson's, and with Miss Simpson. Met 
the fishers. W. caught a pike weighing 4| Ibs. There 
was a gloom almost terrible over Grasmere water and 
vale. A few drops fell but not much rain. No Cole- 
ridge, whom we fully expected. 

Friday. I worked in the garden in the morning. 
Wm. prepared pea sticks. Threatening for rain, but yet it 
comes not. On Wednesday evening a poor man called 
a hatter. He had been long ill, but was now recovered. 


The parish would not help him, because he had imple- 
ments of trade, etc. etc. We gave him 6d. 

Saturday. Walked up the hill to Rydale lake. Gras- 
mere - looked so beautiful that my heart was almost 
melted away. It was quite calm, only spotted with 
sparkles of light ; the church visible. On our return all 
distant objects had faded away, all but the hills. The 
reflection of the light bright sky above Black Quarter 
was very solemn. . 

Sunday. ... In the evening I planted a honeysuckle 
round the yew tree. ... No news of Coleridge. . . . 

Monday. Mr. Simpson called in the morning. W. 
and I went into Langdale to fish. The morning was very 
cold. I sate at the foot of the lake, till my head ached 
with cold. The view exquisitely beautiful, through a 
gate, and under a sycamore tree beside the first house 
going into Loughrigg. Elter-water looked barren, and 
the view from the church less beautiful than in winter. 
When W. went down to the water to fish, I lay under the 
wind, my head pillowed upon a mossy rock, and slept 
about 10 minutes, which relieved my headache. We ate 
our dinner together, and parted again. ... W. went to 
fish for pike in Rydale. John came in when I had done tea 
and he and I carried a jug of tea to William. We met 
him in the old road from Rydale. He drank his tea 
upon the turf. The setting sun threw a red purple light 
upon the rocks, and stone walls of Rydale, which gave 
them a most interesting and beautiful appearance. 

Tuesday. W. went to Ambleside. John walked 
out. I made tarts, etc. Mrs. B. Simpson called and 
asked us to tea. I went to the view of Rydale, to meet 
William. W. and I drank tea at Mr. Simpson's. 
Brought clown lemon-thyme, greens, etc. The old woman 
was very happy to see us, and we were so in the pleasure 
we gave. She was an affecting picture of patient dis- 
appointment, suffering under no particular affliction. 

Wednesday. A very rainy day. I made a shoe. 
Wm. and John went to fish in Langdale. In the 


evening I went above the house, and gathered flowers, 
which I planted, foxgloves, etc. On Sunday 1 Mr. and 
Mrs. Coleridge and Hartley came. The day was very 
warm. We sailed to the foot of Loughrigg. They staid 
with us three weeks, and till the Thursday following, from 
ist till the 23rd of July. 2 On the Friday preceding their 
departure, we drank tea at the island. The weather was 
delightful, and on the Sunday we made a great fire, and 
drank tea in Bainriggs with the Simpsons. I accom- 
panied Mrs. C. to Wytheburne, and returned with W. to 
tea at Mr. Simpson's. It was exceedingly hot, but the 
day after, Friday 24th July, 3 still hotter. All the morn- 
ing I was engaged in unpacking our Somersetshire goods. 
The house was a hot oven. I was so weaiy, I could not 
walk : so I went out, and sate with Wm. in the orchard. 
We had a delightful half-hour in the warm still evening. 

Saturday, z6tk. Still hotter. I sate with W. in the 
orchard all the morning, and made my shoe. . . . 

Sunday^ zjth. Very warm. ... I wrote out Ruth 
in the afternoon. In the morning, I read Mr. Knight's 
Landscape^ After tea we rowed down to Loughrigg 
Fell, visited the white foxglove, gathered wild straw- 
berries, and walked up to view Rydale. We lay a long 
time looking at the lake ; the shores all dim with the 
scorching sun. The ferns were turning yellow, that 
is, here and there one was quite turned. We walked 
round by Benson's wood home. The lake was now 
most still, and reflected the beautiful yellow and blue and 

1 Coleridge arrived at Grasmere on Sunday 29111 June. ED. 

2 The dates here given are confusing. S. T. C. says he was ill 
at Grasmere, and stayed a fortnight. In a letter to Tom Poole he 
says he arrived at Keswick on 24th July, which was a Thursday. 

3 That Friday was the 2$th July. The two next dates were 
incorrectly entered by Dorothy. ED. 

4 The Landscape : a Didactic Poem in three Books. By Richard 
Payne Knight. 1794. ED. 


purple and grey colours of the sky. We heard a strange 
sound in the Bainriggs wood, as we were floating on the 
water ; it seemed in the wood, but it must have been 
above it, for presently we saw a raven very high above 
us. It called out, and the dome of the sky seemed to 
echo the sound. It called again and again as it flew 
onwards, and the mountains gave back the sound, seem- 
ing as if from their centre ; a musical bell-like answering 
to the bird's hoarse voice. We heard both the call of 
the birdj and the echo, after we could see him no 
longer, . . , 1 

Monday. Received a letter from Coleridge enclosing 
one from Mr. Davy about the Lyrical Ballads. Intensely 
hot. . . . William went into the wood, and altered his 
poems. . . . 

Thursday. All the morning I was busy copying 
poems. Gathered peas, and in the afternoon Coleridge 
came. He brought the 2nd volume of Anthology. The 
men went to bathe, and we afterwards sailed down to 
Loughrigg. Read poems on the water, and let the boat 
take its own course. We walked a long time upon 
Loughrigg. I returned in the grey twilight. The moon 
just setting as we reached home. 

Friday ', \st Augtcst. In the morning I copied The 
Brothers. Coleridge and Wm. went down to the lake. 
They returned, and we all went together to Mary Point, 
where we sate in the breeze, and the shade, and read 
Wm.'s poems. Altered The Whirlblast, etc. We drank 
tea in the orchard. 

Saturday Morning, 2nd. Wm. and Coleridge went 
to Keswick. John went with them to Wythcburn, and 
staid all day fishing, and brought home 2 small pikes at 
night. I accompanied them to Lewthwaite's cottage, 
and on my return papered Wm. ; s rooms. . . . About 8 
o'clock it gathered for rain, and I had the scatterings of a 

1 Compare The Excursion, book iv. 11. nS.q-tigs. ED. 


shower, but afterwards the lake became of a glassy calm- 
ness, and all was still. I sate till I could see no longer, 
and then continued my work in the house. 

Sunday Morning, $rd. ... A heavenly warm 
evening, with scattered clouds upon the hills. There 
was a vernal greenness upon the grass, from the rains of 
the morning and afternoon. Peas for dinner. 

Monday Afh. Rain in the night. I tied up scarlet 
beans, nailed the honeysuckles, etc, etc. John was pre- 
pared to walk to Keswick all the morning. He seized a 
returned chaise and went after dinner. I pulled a large 
basket of peas and sent to Keswick by a returned chaise. 
A very cold evening. Assisted to spread out linen in 
the morning. 

Tuesday $th. Dried the linen in the morning. The 
air still cold. I pulled a bag full of peas for Mrs. 
Simpson. Miss Simpson drank tea with me, and supped, 
on her return from Ambleside. A very fine evening. 
I sate on the wall making my shifts till I could see 
no longer. Walked half-way home with Miss Simpson. 

Wednesday ', 6th August. . . . William came home 
from Keswick at eleven o'clock. 

Thursday Morning, 'jth August. . . . William 
composing in the wood in the morning. In the evening 
we walked to Mary Point. A very fine sunset. 

Friday Morning. We intended going to Keswick, 
but were prevented by the excessive heat. Nailed up 
scarlet beans in the morning. . . . Walked over the 
mountains by Wattendlath. ... A most enchanting 
walk. Wattendlath a heavenly scene. Reached 
Coleridge's at eleven o'clock. 

Saturday Morning. I walked with Coleridge in the 
Windy Brow woods. 

Sunday. Very hot. The C.'s went to church. We 
sailed upon Derwent in the evening. 

Monday Afternoon. Walked to Windy Brow. 

Tuesday. . . . Wm. and I walked along the Cocker- 
mouth road. He was altering his poems. 


Wednesday. Made the Windy Brow seat. 

Thursday Morning. Called at the Speddings. In 
the evening walked in the wood with W. Very 
very beautiful the moon. 

Sunday, ijth August. . . . William read us The 
Seven Sisters. 

Saturday^ 2$rd. A very fine morning. Wm. was 
composing all the morning. I shelled peas, gathered 
beans, and worked in the garden till -|- past 12. Then 
walked with Wm. in the wood. . . . The gleams of sun- 
shine, and the stirring trees, and gleaming boughs, cheer- 
ful lake, most delightful. . . . Wm. read Peter Bell 
and the poem of Joanna^ beside the Rothay by the 

Tuesday, 26th. ... A very fine solemn evening. 
The wind blew very fierce from the island, and at Rydale. 
We went on the other side of Rydale, and sate a long 
time looking at the mountains, which were all black at 
Grasmere, and very bright in Rydale ; Grasmere exceed- 
ingly dark, and Rydale of a light yellow green. 

Friday Evening [2 9th August]. We walked to 
Rydale to inquire for letters. We walked over the hill 
by the firgrove. I sate upon a rock, and observed a 
flight of swallows gathering together high above my 
head. They flew towards Rydale. We walked through 
the wood over the stepping-stones. The lake of Rydale 
very beautiful, partly still. John and I left Wm. to 
compose an inscription ; that about the path. We had 
a very fine walk by the gloomy lake. There was a 
curious yellow reflection in the water, as of corn fields. 
There was no light in the clouds from which it appeared 
to come, 

Satiirday Morning^ $Qtk August. . . . William 


finished his Inscription of the Pathway, 1 then walked in 
the wood ; and when John returned, he sought him, and 
they bathed together. I read a little of Boswell's Life 
of Johnson. I went to lie down in the orchard. I was 
roused by a shout that Anthony Harrison was come. 
We sate in the orchard till tea time. Drank tea early, 
and rowed down the lake which was stirred by breezes. 
We looked at Rydale, which was soft, cheerful, and 
beautiful We then went to peep into Langdale. The 
Pikes were very grand. We walked back to the view of 
Rydale, which was now a dark mirror. W T e rowed home 
over a lake still as glass, and then went to George 
Mackareth's to hire a horse for John. A fine moonlight 
night. The beauty of the moon was startling, as it rose 
to us over Loughrigg Fell. We returned to supper at 
10 o'clock. Thomas Ashburner brought us our 8th 
cart of coals since May iyth. 

Sunday r , 31 st. . . . A great deal of corn is cut in 
the vale, and the whole prospect, though not tinged with 
a general autumnal yellow, yet softened down into a 
mellowness of colouring, which seems to impart softness 
to the forms of hills and mountains. At 1 1 o'clock 
Coleridge came, when I was walking in the still clear 
moonshine in the garden. He came over Helvellyn. 
Wm. was gone to bed, and John also, worn out with his 
ride round Coniston. We sate and chatted till half-past 
three, . . . Coleridge reading a part of ChristabeL 
Talked much about the mountains, etc. etc. . . . 

Monday Morning^ 1st September. We walked in the 
wood by the lake. W. read Joanna, and the Firgrove, 
to Coleridge. They bathed. The morning was delight- 
ful, with somewhat of an autumnal freshness. After 
dinner, Coleridge discovered a rock-seat in the orchard. 
Cleared away brambles. Coleridge went to bed after 

1 Professor Dowden thinks that this refers to the poem on John's 
Grove. But a hitherto unpublished fragment will soon be issued 
by the Messrs. Longman, which may cast fresh light on this 
" Inscription of the Pathway." ED. 


tea. John and I followed Wm. up the hill, and then 
returned to go to Mr. Simpson's. We borrowed some 
bottles for bottling rum. The evening somewhat frosty 
and grey, but very pleasant. I broiled Coleridge a 
mutton chop, which he ate in bed. Wm. was gone to 
bed. I chatted with John and Coleridge till near 12. 

Tuesday r , 2nd. In the morning they all went to 
Stickle Tarn. A very fine, warm, sunny, beautiful 
morning. . . . The fair-day. . . . There seemed very 
few people and very few stalls, yet I believe there were 
many cakes and much beer sold. My brothers came 
home to dinner at 6 o'clock. We drank tea immediately 
after by candlelight. It was a lovely moonlight night. 
We talked much about a house on Helvellyn. The 
moonlight shone only upon the village. It did not 
eclipse the village lights, and the sound of dancing and 
merriment came along the still air. I walked with 
Coleridge and Wm. up the lane and by the church, and 
then lingered with Coleridge in the garden. John and 
Wm. were both gone to bed, and all the lights out. 

Wednesday^ $rd Septc?}tber. Coleridge, Wm., and 
John went from home, to go upon Helvellyn with Mr. 
Simpson. They set out after breakfast. I accompanied 
them up near the blacksmith's. ... I then went to a 
funeral at John Dawson's. About I o men and 4 women. 
Bread, cheese, and ale. They talked sensibly and 
cheerfully about common things. The dead person, 
56 years of age, buried by the parish. The coffin was 
neatly lettered and painted black, and covered with a 
decent cloth. They set the corpse down at the door ; 
and, while we stood within the threshold, the men, with 
their hats off, sang, with decent and solemn counte- 
nances, a verse of a funeral psalm. The corpse was then 
borne down the hill, and they sang till they had passed 
the Town-End. I was affected to tears while we stood in 
the house, the coffin lying before me. There were no 
near kindred, no children. When we got out of the 
dark house the sun was shining, and the prospect looked 

ill GRASMERE 49 

as divinely beautiful as I ever saw it. It seemed more 
sacred than I had ever seen it, and yet more allied to 
human life. The green fields, in the neighbourhood of 
the churchyard, were as green as possible ; and, with the 
brightness of the sunshine, looked quite gay. I thought 
she was going to a quiet spot, and I could not help 
weeping very much. When we came to the bridge, they 
began to sing again, and stopped during four lines before 
they entered the churchyard. . . . Wm. and John came 
home at 10 o'clock. 

Friday ', \itk September. . . . The fern of the 
mountains now spreads yellow veins among the trees ; 
the coppice wood turns brown. William observed 
some affecting little things in Borrowdale. A decayed 
house with the tall, silent rocks seen through the broken 
windows. A sort of rough column put upon the gable 
end of a house, with a ball stone, smooth from the river- 
island, upon it for ornament. Near it, a stone like it, 
upon an old mansion, carefully hewn. 

Saturday, i$tJi September. Morning. William 
writing his Preface 1 did not walk. Jones, and Mr. 
Palmer came to tea. . . . 

Sunday morning, 14/72. . . . A lovely day. Read 
Boswell in the house in the morning, and after dinner 
under the bright yellow leaves of the orchard. The 
pear trees a bright yellow. The apple trees still green. 
A sweet lovely afternoon. . . . Here I have long neglected 
my Journal. John came home in the evening, after Jones 
left. Jones returned again on the Friday, the 1 9th 
September. Jones stayed with us till Friday, 26th 
September. Coleridge came in. 

Tuesday, z^rd. I went home with Jones. Charles 
Lloyd called on Tuesday, 23rd. 

Sunday, z&f/i. We heard of the Abergavenn^s 
arrival, . . . 

1 The Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads. ED. 
vni T E 


Monday ) 2gth. John left us. Win. and I parted 
with him in sight of Ullswater. It was a fine day, 
showery, but with sunshine and fine clouds. Poor 
fellow, my heart was right sad. I could not help think- 
ing we should see him again, because he was only going 
to Penrith. 

Tuesday, $oth September. Charles Lloyd dined with 
us. We walked homewards with him after dinner. It 
rained very hard. Rydale was extremely wild, and we 
had a fine walk. We sate quietly and comfortably by 
the fire. I wrote the last sheet of Notes and Preface. 1 
Went to bed at twelve o'clock. 

Wednesday, ist October. A fine morning, a showery 
night. The lake still in the morning ; in the forenoon 
flashing light from the beams of the sun, as it was ruffled 
by the wind. We corrected the last sheet. 1 

Thursday^ ind October, A very rainy morning. We 
walked after dinner to observe the torrents. I followed 
Wm. to Rydale. We afterwards went to Butterlip How. 
The Black Quarter looked marshy, and the general 
prospect was cold, but the force was very grand. The 
lichens are now coming out afresh. I carried home a 
collection in the afternoon. We had a pleasant con- 
versation about the manners of the rich ; avarice, in- 
ordinate desires, and the effeminacy, unnaturalness, and 
unworthy objects of education. The moonlight lay upon 
the hills like snow. 

Friday, $rd October. Very rainy all the morning. 
Wm. walked to Ambleside after dinner. I went with him 
part of the way. He talked much about the object of 
his essay for the second volume of " L. B." . . . Amos 
Cottle's death in the Morning 1 Post. 

N.B. When William and I returned from accom- 
panying Jones, we met an old man almost double. He 
had on a coat, thrown over his shoulders, above his 

1 i.e. of the Notes and Preface to the second edition of Lyrical 
Ballads. ~ET>. 


waistcoat and coat. Under this he carried a bundle, 
and had an apron on and a night-cap. His face was 
interesting. He had dark eyes and a long nose. John, 
who afterwards met him at Wytheburn, took him for a 
Jew. He was of Scotch parents, but had been born in 
the army. He had had a wife, and " she was a good 
woman, and it pleased God to bless us with ten children. 5 '' 
All these were dead but one, of whom he had not heard 
for many years, a sailor. His trade was to gather 
leeches, but now leeches were scarce, and he had not 
strength for it. He lived by begging, and was making 
his way to Carlisle, where he should buy a few godly 
books to sell. He said leeches were very scarce, partly 
owing to this dry season, but many years they have been 
scarce. He supposed it owing to their being much 
sought after, that they did not breed fast, and were of 
slow growth. Leeches were formerly 2s. 6d. per i oo ; 
they are now 303. He had been hurt in driving a cart, 
his leg broken, his body driven over, his skull fractured. 
He felt no pain till he recovered from his first insensi- 
bility. It was then late in the evening, when the light 
was just going away. 1 

Sattirday, ^th October 1800. A very rainy, or rather 
showery and gusty, morning ; for often the sun shines. 
Thomas Ashburner could not go to Keswick. Read a 
part of Lamb's Play. 2 The language is often very beauti- 
ful, but too imitative in particular phrases, words, etc. 
The characters, except Margaret, unintelligible, and, 
except Margaret's, do not show themselves in action. 
Coleridge came in while we were at dinner, very wet. 
We talked till twelve o'clock. He had sate up all the 
night before, writing essays for the newspaper. . . . Ex- 
ceedingly delighted with the second part of Christabel. 

1 Compare Resolution and Independence, in the ' ' Poetical 
Works," vol. ii. p. 312. ED. 

2 Pride's Cure. The title was afterwards changed to John 


Sunday Morning, $th October. Coleridge read CJirist- 
abel a second time; we had increasing pleasure. A 
delicious morning. Wm. and I were employed all the 
morning in writing an addition to the Preface.' Wm. 
went to bed, very ill after working after dinner. Cole- 
ridge and I walked to Ambleside after dark with the 
letter. Returned to tea at 9 o'clock. Wm. still in bed, 
and very ill. Silver How in both lakes. 

Monday. A rainy day. Coleridge intending to go, 
but did not go off. We walked after dinner to Rydale. 
After tea read The Pedlar. Determined not to print 
Christabel with the L. B. 

Tuesday. Coleridge went off at eleven o'clock. I 
went as far as Mr, Simpson's. Returned with Mary. 

Wednesday. Frequent threatening of showers. Re- 
ceived a ^5 note from Montagu. Wm. walked to Rydale. 
I copied a part of The Beggars in the morning. . . . 
A very mild moonlight night. Glow-worms everywhere. 

Friday, loth October. In the morning when I arose 
the mists were hanging over the opposite hills, and the 
tops of the highest hills were covered with snow. There 
was a most lively combination at the head of the vale 
of the yellow autumnal hills wrapped in sunshine, and 
overhung with partial mists, the green and yellow trees, 
and the distant snow-topped mountains. It was a most 
heavenly morning. The Cockermouth traveller came 
with thread, hardware, mustard, etc. She is very 
healthy; has travelled over the mountains these thirty 
years. She does not mind the storms, if she can keep 
her goods dry. Her husband will not travel with an 
ass, because it is the tramper's badge ; she would have 
one to relieve her from the weary load. She was 
going to Ulverston, and was to return to Ambleside Fair. 
. . . The fern among the rocks exquisitely beautiful. . . . 
Sent off The Beggars, etc., by Thomas Ashburner. . . 
William sat up after me, writing Point Rash Judgment 

Saturday, nth. A fine October morning. Sat in 

ill GRASMERE 53 

the house working all the morning. William compos- 
ing. . . . After dinner we walked up Greenhead Gill in 
search of a sheepfold. We went by Mr. OllifPs, and 
through his woods. It was a delightful day, and the 
views looked excessively cheerful and beautiful, chiefly 
that from Mr. OllifFs field, where our own house is to be 
built. The colours of the mountains soft, and rich with 
orange fern ; the cattle pasturing upon the hilltops ; 
kites sailing in the sky above our heads ; sheep bleating, 
and feeding in the water courses, scattered over the 
mountains. They come down and feed, on the little 
green islands in the beds of the torrents, and so may be 
swept away. The sheepfold is falling away. It is built 
nearly in the form of a heart unequally divided. Looked 
down the brook, and saw the drops rise upwards and 
sparkle in the air at the little falls. The higher sparkled 
the tallest. We walked along the turf of the mountain 
till we came to a track, made by the cattle which come 
upon the hills. . . . 

Sunday ', October i-2th. Sate in the house writing in 
the morning while Wm. went into the wood to compose. 
Wrote to John in the morning ; copied poems for the 
L. B. In the evening wrote to Mrs. Rawson. Mary 
Jameson and Sally Ashburner dined. We pulled apples 
after dinner, a large basket full. We walked before tea 
by Bainriggs to observe the many-coloured foliage. The 
oaks dark green with yellow leaves, the birches generally 
still green, some near the water yellowish, the sycamore 
crimson and crimson-tufted, the mountain ash a deep 
orange, the common ash lemon-colour, but many ashes 
still fresh in their peculiar green, those that were dis- 
coloured chiefly near the water. Wm. composing in the 
evening. Went to bed at 1 2 o'clock. 

Monday, October i^th. A grey day. Mists on the 
hills. We did not walk in the morning. I copied 
poems on the Naming of Places. A fair at Ambleside. 
Walked in the Black Quarter at night. 


Wednesday, A very fine clear morning. After Wm. 
had composed a little, I persuaded him to go into the 
orchard. We walked backwards and forwards. The 
prospect most divinely beautiful from the seat ; all 
colours, all melting into each other. I went in to put 
bread in the oven, and we both walked within view of 
Rydale. Win. again composed at the sheepfold after 
dinner. I walked with Wm. to Wytheburn, and he 
went on to Keswick. I drank tea, and supped at Mr. 
Simpson's. A very cold frosty air in returning. Mr. 
and Miss S. came with me. Wytheburn looked very 
wintry, but yet there was a foxglove blossoming by the 

Friday, ijth. A very fine grey morning. The 
swan hunt. ... I walked round the lake between -| 
past 12, and ^ past one. ... In my walk in the morn- 
ing, I observed Benson's honey-suckles in flower, and 
great beauty. I found Wm. at home, where he had 
been almost ever since my departure. Coleridge had 
done nothing for the L. B. Working hard for Stuart. 1 
Glow-worms in abundance. 

Saturday. A very fine October morning. William 
worked all the morning at the sheepfold, but in vain. 
He lay down in the afternoon till 7 o'clock, but could 
not sleep. . . . We did not walk all day. . . . 

Sunday Morning. We rose late, and walked directly 
after breakfast. The tops of Grasmere mountains cut 
off. Rydale very beautiful. The surface of the water 
quite still, like a dim mirror. The colours of the large 
island exquisitely beautiful, and the trees, still fresh and 
green, were magnified by the mists. The prospects on the 
west side of the Lake were very beautiful. We sate at the 
"two points " 2 looking up to Parks. The lowing of the 
cattle was echoed by a hollow voice in the vale. We 


returned home over the stepping-stones. Win, got to 
work. . . . 

Monday ', 2o//$. William worked in the morning at 
the sheepfold. After dinner we walked to Rydale, crossed 
the stepping-stones, and while we were walking under the 
tall oak trees the Lloyds called out to us. They went 
with us on the western side of Rydale. The lights were 
very grand upon the woody Rydale hills. Those behind 
dark and tipped with clouds. The two lakes were 
divinely beautiful. Grasmere excessively solemn, the 
whole lake calm, and dappled with soft grey ripples. 
The Lloyds staid with us till 8 o'clock. We then 
walked to the top of the hill at Rydale. Very mild and 
warm. Beheld 6 glow-worms shining faintly. We 
went up as far as the Swan. When we came home the 
fire was out. We ate our supper in the dark, and went 
to bed immediately. William was disturbed in the night 
by the rain coming into his room, for it was a very rainy 
night. The ash leaves lay across the road. 

Tuesday f , list. . . . Wm. had been unsuccessful 
in the morning at the sheepfold. The reflection of the 
ash scattered, and the tree stripped. 

Wednesday Morning. . . . Wm. composed without 
much success at the sheepfold. Coleridge came in to 
dinner. He had done nothing. We were very merry. 
C. and I went to look at the prospect from his seat. 
. . . Wm. read Ruth, etc., after supper. Coleridge 
read ChristabeL 

Thursday ', 2$rd. Coleridge and Stoddart went to 
Keswick. We accompanied them to Wytheburn. A 
wintry grey morning from the top of the Raise. Grasmere 
looked like winter, and Wytheburn still more so. ... 
Wm. was not successful in composition in the evening. 

Friday, 24^. A very fine morning. We walked, 
before Wm. began to work, to the top of the Rydale 
hill. He was afterwards only partly successful in com- 
position. After dinner we walked round Rydale lake, 
rich, calm, streaked, very beautiful. We went to the 


top of Loughrigg. Grasmere sadly inferior. . . . The 
ash in our garden green, one close to it bare, the next 
nearly so. 

Saturday. A very rainy day. Wm. again un- 
successful. We could not walk, it was so very rainy. 
We read Rogers, Miss Seward, Cowper, etc. 

Sunday. Heavy rain all night, a fine morning after 
10 o'clock. Wm. composed a good deal in the morn- 
ing. ... 

Monday ', 2jth October. . . . Win. in the firgrove. 
I had before walked with him there for some time. It 
was a fine shelter from the wind. The coppices now 
nearly of one brown. An oak tree in a sheltered place 
near John Fisher's, not having lost any of its leaves, was 
quite brown and dry. ... It was a fine^wild moonlight 
night. Wm. could not compose much. Fatigued him- 
self with altering. 

Tuesday, 282^. . . . We walked out before dinner 
to our favourite field. The mists sailed along the 
mountains, and rested upon them, enclosing the whole 
vale. In the evening the Lloyds came. We played a 
rubber at whist. . . . 

Wednesday. William worked at his poem all the 
morning. After dinner, Mr. Clarkson called. . . . 
Played at cards. . . . Mr. Clarkson slept here. 

Thursday. A rainy morning. W. C. went over 
Kirkstone. Wm. talked all day, and almost all night, 
with Stoddart. Mrs. and Miss H. called in the morning. 
I walked with them to Tail End. 1 

Friday Night . . . W. and I did not rise till 10 
o'clock. ... A very fine moonlight night. The moon 
shone like herrings in the water. 

Titesday. , . . Tremendous wind. The snow blew 
from Helvellyn horizontally like smoke. . . . 

1 On the western side of Grasmere Lake. ED. 


Thursday p , 6t/i November. . . . Read Point Rash 
Judgment. .... 

Friday, jt& November. ... I working and reading 
Amelia. The Michaelmas daisy droops, the pansies are 
full of flowers, the ashes still green all but one, but they 
have lost many of their leaves. The copses are quite 
brown. The poor woman and child from Whitehaven 
drank tea. . . . 

Saturday^ %th November. A rainy morning. A 
whirlwind came that tossed about the leaves, and tore 
off the still green leaves of the ashes. Wm. and I 
walked out at 4 o'clock. Went as far as Rothay Bridge. 
. . . The whole face of the country in a winter covering. 

Monday. . . . Jupiter over the hilltops, the only 
star, like a sun, flashed out at intervals from behind a 
black cloud. 

Tuesday Morning. . . . William had been working 
at the sheepfold. . . . Played at cards. A mild night, 
partly clouded, partly starlight. The cottage lights. 
The mountains not very distinct. 

Thursday. We sate in the house all the morning. 
Rainy weather, played at cards. A poor woman from 
Hawkshead begged, a widow of Grasmere. A merry 
African from Longtown. . . . 

Friday. Much wind, but a sweet mild morning. I 
nailed up trees. . . . Two letters from Coleridge, very ill. 
One from Sara H. . . . 

Saturday Morning. A terrible rain, so prevented 
William from going to Coleridge's. The afternoon fine. 
. . . We both set forward at five o'clock. A fine wild 
night. I walked with W. over the Raise. It was star- 
light. I parted with him very sad, unwilling not to go 
on. The hills, and the stars, and the white waters, with 
their ever varying yet ceaseless sound, were very im- 
pressive. I supped at the Simpsons 3 . Mr, S. walked 
home with me. 


Sunday ', i6th November. &. very fine warm sunny 
morning. A letter from Coleridge, and one from 
Stoddart. Coleridge better. . . . One beautiful ash tree 
sheltered, with yellow leaves, one low one quite green. 
A noise of boys in the rocks hunting some animal. 
Walked a little in the garden when I came home. Very 
pleasant now. Rain comes on. Mr. Jackson called in 
the evening, brought me a letter from C. and W. 

Monday Morning. A fine clear frosty morning with 
a sharp wind. I walked to Keswick. Set off at 5 
minutes past 10, and arrived at past 2. I found 
them all well. 

On Tuesday morning W. and C. set off towards 
Penrith. Wm. met Sara Hutchinson at Threlkeld. 
They arrived at Keswick at tea time. 

Wednesday. We walked by the lake side and then 
went to Mr. Denton's. I called upon the Miss 

Thursday. We spent the morning in the town. 
Mr. Jackson and Mr. Peach dined with us. 

Friday. A very fine day. Went to Mrs. Greaves 3 . 
Mrs. C. and I called upon the Speddings. A beautiful 
crescent moon. 

Saturday Morning. After visiting Mr. Peach's 
Chinese pictures we set off to Grasmere. A threatening 
and rather rainy morning. Arrived at G. Very dirty 
and a little wet at the closing in of evening. 

Sunday. Wm. not well I baked bread and pie for 

Monday. A fine morning. Sara and I walked to 
Rydale. After dinner we went to Lloyd's, and drank tea, 
and supped. A sharp cold night, with sleet and snow. 

Tuesday. Read Tom Jones. 

Wednesday. . . . Wm. very well. We had a delight- 
ful walk up into Easedale. The tops of the mountains 
covered with snow, frosty and sunny, the roads slippery. 
A letter from Mary. The Lloyds drank tea. We walked 
with them near to Ambleside. A beautiful moonlight 

G&ASME&E 59 

night. Sara and I walked home. William very well, 
and highly poetical. 

Thursday , 27 'th November. Wrote to Tom Hutchin- 
son to desire him to bring Mary with him. A thaw, and 
the ground covered with snow. Sara and I walked 
before dinner. 

Friday. Coleridge walked over. Miss Simpson 
drank tea with us. William walked home with her. 
Coleridge was very unwell. He went to bed before 
Wm.'s return. 

Sunday, y>th November. A very fine clear morning. 
Snow upon the ground everywhere. Sara and I walked 
towards Rydale by the upper road, and were obliged to 
return, because of the snow. Walked by moonlight. 

Monday. A thaw in the night, and the snow was 
entirely gone. Coleridge unable to go home. We 
walked by moonlight. 

Tuesday ', 2 nd December. A rainy morn ing. Coleridge 
was obliged to set off. Sara and I met C. Lloyd and S. 
turned back with him. I walked round the 2 lakes 
with Charles, very pleasant. We all walked to Amble- 
side. A pleasant moonlight evening, but not clear. It 
came on a terrible evening. Hail, and wind, and cold, 
and rain. 

Wednesday, yd December. We lay in bed till 1 1 
o'clock. Wrote to John, and M. H. William and Sara 
and I walked to Rydale after tea. A very fine frosty 
night. Sara and W. walked round the other side. 

Thursday. Coleridge came in, just as we finished 
dinner. We walked after tea by moonlight to look at 
Langdale covered with snow, the Pikes not grand, but 
the Old Man 1 very expressive. Cold and slippery, but 
exceedingly pleasant. Sat up till half-past one. 

Friday Morning. Terribly cold and rainy. Coleridge 
and Wm. set forward towards Keswick, but the wind in 

1 Coniston 'Old Man,' ED. 


Coleridge's eyes made him turn back. Sara and I had 
a grand bread and cake baking. We were very merry 
in the evening, but grew sleepy soon, though we did not 
go to bed till twelve o'clock 

Saturday. Wm. accompanied Coleridge to the foot 
of the Raise. A very pleasant morning. Sara and I 
accompanied him half-way to Keswick. Thirlemere 
was very beautiful, even more so than in summer. 
William was not well, had laboured unsuccessfully. . . . 
A letter from M. H. 

Sunday. A fine morning. I read. Sara wrote to 
Hartley, Wm. to Mary, I to Mrs. C. We walked 
just before dinner to the lakeside, and found out a seat 
in a tree. Windy, but very pleasant. Sara and Wm. 
walked to the waterfalls at Rydale. 

Monday, S//z December. A sweet mild morning. I 
wrote to Kirs. Cookson, and Miss Griffith. 

Tuesday^ gtk. I dined at Lloyd's. Wm. drank tea. 
Walked home. A pleasant starlight frosty evening. 
Reached home at one o'clock. Wm. finished his poem 

Wedfiesday, ioz$. Walked to Keswick. Snow upon 
the ground. A very fine day. Ate bread and ale at 
John Stanley's. Found Coleridge better. Stayed at 
Keswick till Sunday I4th December. 

Wednesday. A very fine day. Writing all the 
morning for William. 

Thursday. Mrs. Coleridge and Derwent came. 
Sweeping chimneys. 

Friday. Baking. 

Saturday. Coleridge came. Very ill, rheumatic 
fever. Rain incessantly. 

Monday. S. and Wm. went to Lloyd's. Wm. dined. 
It rained very hard when he came home. 





Saturday, loth October I So I. Coleridge went to 
Keswick, after we had built Sara's seat. 

Thursday, i^th. . . . Coleridge came in to Mr. 
Luffs while we were at dinner. William and I walked 
up Loughrigg Fell, then by the waterside. . . . 

Saturday ) 24^. Attempted Fairfield, but misty, 
and we went no further than Green Head Gill to the 
sheepfold ; mild, misty, beautifully soft. Wm. and Tom 
put out the boat. . . . 

Sunday -, 252$. Rode to Legberthwaite with Tom, 
expecting Mary. . . . Went upon Helvellyn. Glorious 
sights. The sea at Cartmel. The Scotch mountains 
beyond the sea to the right. Whiteside large, and round, 
and very soft, and green, behind us. Mists above and 
below, and close to us, with the sun amongst them. 
They shot down to the coves. Left John Stanley's x at 
10 minutes past 12. Returned thither J past 4, drank 
tea, ate heartily. Before we went on Helvellyn we got 
bread and cheese. Paid 4/ for the whole. Reached 
home at nine o'clock. A soft grey evening ; the light 
of the moon, but she did not shine on us. Mary and I 
sate in C.'s room a while. 

Tuesday, loth \_Nouember\. Poor C. left us, and we 
came home together. We left Keswick at 2 o'clock 

1 The landlord ofWytheburn Inn. ED. 


and did not arrive at Grasmere till 9 o'clock. I burnt 
myself with Coleridge's aquafortis. C. had a sweet day 
for his ride. Every sight and every sound reminded me 
of him dear, dear fellow, of his many talks to us, by 
day and by night, of all dear things. I was melancholy, 
and could not talk, but at last I eased my heart by 
weeping- nervous blubbering says William. It is not so. 
1 how many, many reasons have I to be anxious for him. 

Wednesday, ntk, . . . Put aside dearest C.'s 
letters, and now, at about 7 o'clock, we are all sitting 
by a nice fire. Win. with his book and a candle, and 
Mary writing to Sara. 

November i6/& . . . Wm. is now, at 7 o'clock, 
reading Spenser. Mary is writing beside me. The 
little syke 1 murmurs. 2 We are quiet and happy, but 
poor Peggy Ashburner coughs, as if she would cough her 
life away. I am going to write to Coleridge and Sara. 
Poor C. ! I hope he was in London yesterday. . . . 

Tuesday^ ijt/i. A very rainy morning. We walked 
into Easedale before dinner. The coppices a beautiful 
brown. The oaks many, a very fine leafy shade. We 
stood a long time to look at the corner birch tree. The 
wind was among the light thin twigs, and they yielded 
to it, this way and that. 

Wednesday, iSt/i. We sate in the house in the 
morning reading Spenser. Wm, and Mary walked to 
Rydale. Very pleasant moonlight. The lakes beauti- 
ful. The church an image of peace. Wm. wrote some 
lines upon it. 3 Mary and I walked as far as the Wishing 
Gate before supper. We stood there a long time, the whole 
scene impressive. The mountains indistinct, the Lake 
calm and partly ruffled. A sweet sound of water falling 
into the quiet Lake.' 2 A storm was gathering in Easedale, 

1 A Cumberland word for a rillet. ED. 

2 Compare To a Highland Girl, 1. 8 

A murmur near the silent lake. ED. 

3 Probably some of the lines afterwards included in The Excur- 
sion. ED. 


so we returned ; but the moon came out, and opened 
to us the church and village. Helm Crag in shade, 
the larger mountains dappled like a sky. We stood 
long upon the bridge. Wished for Wm. . . . 

Friday^ 2O/A We walked in the morning to Ease- 
dale. In the evening we had cheerful letters from 
Coleridge and Sara. 

Safzerday, 2ist. We walked in the morning, and 
paid one pound and 4d. for letters. William out of 
spirits. We had a pleasant walk and spent a pleasant 
evening. There was a furious wind and cold at night. 
Mr. Simpson drank tea with us, and helped William out 
with the boat. Wm. and Mary walked to the Swan, 
homewards, with him. A keen clear frosty night. I 
went into the orchard while they were out. 

Sunday , 2,2nd. We wrote to Coleridge. 

Tuesday, 242^. ... It was very windy, and we 
heard the wind everywhere about us as we went along 
the lane, but the walls sheltered us. John Green's 
house looked pretty under Silver How. As we were 
going along we were stopped at once, at the distance 
perhaps of 50 yards from our favourite birch tree. It 
was yielding to the gusty wind with all its tender twigs. 
The sun shone upon it, and it glanced in the wind like 
a flying sunshiny shower. It was a tree in shape, with 
stem and branches, but it was like a spirit of water. 
The sun went in, and it resumed its purplish appearance, 
the twigs still yielding to the wind, but not so visibly to 
us. The other birch trees that were near it looked 
bright and cheerful, but it was a creature by its own 
self among them. . . . We went through the wood. It 
became fair. There was a rainbow which spanned the 
lake from the island -house to the foot of Bainriggs. 
The village looked populous and beautiful. Catkins are 
coming out ; palm trees budding ; the alder, with its 
plum -coloured buds. We came home over the 



stepping-stones. The lake was foamy with white waves. 
I saw a solitary butter-flower in the wood. . . . Reached 
home at dinner time. Sent Peggy Ashbumer some 
goose. She sent me some honey, with a thousand 
thanks. "Alas! the gratitude of men has," etc. 1 ^ I 
went in to set her right about this, and sate a while with 
her. She talked about Thomas's having sold his land. 
" I," says she, " said many a time he's not come fra 
London 'to buy our land, however/' Then she told me 
with what pains and industry they had made up their 
taxes, interest, etc. etc., how they all got up at 5 o'clock 
in the morning to spin and Thomas carded, and that 
they had paid off a hundred pounds of the interest She 
said she used to take much pleasure in the cattle and 
sheep. " how pleased I used to be when they fetched 
them down, and when I had been a bit poorly I would 
gang out upon a hill and look over 3 t fields and see them, 
and it used to do me so much good you cannot think." 
Molly said to me when I came in, " Poor body ! she's 
very ill, but one does not know how long she may last. 
Many a fair face may gang before her." We sate by 
the fire without work for some time, then Mary read a 
poem of Daniel. . . . Wm. read Spenser, now and then, 
a little aloud to us. We were making his waistcoat. 
We had a note from Mrs. C, with bad news from poor 

C. very ill. William went to John's Grove. I went 

to find him. Moonlight, but it rained. ... He had 
been surprised, and terrified, by a sudden rushing of 
winds, which seemed to bring earth, sky, and^ lake 
together, as if the whole were going to enclose him in. 
He was glad he was in a high road. 

In speaking of our walk on Sunday evening, the 
22nd November, I forgot to notice one most impressive 
sight. It was the moon and the moonlight seen through 
hurrying driving clouds immediately behind the Stone- 
Man upon the top of the hill, on the forest side. Every 

1 See, in the "Poetical Works," Simon Lee, 11. 95, 96, vol. i. 
p. 268. ED. 


tooth and every edge of rock was visible, and the Man 
stood like a giant watching from the roof of a lofty 
castle. The hill seemed perpendicular from the dark- 
ness below it. It was a sight that I could call to mind 
at any time, it was so distinct. 

Wednesday ) 2.$fk November. It was a showery morn- 
ing and threatened to be a wettish day, but the sun shone 
once or twice. We were engaged to Mr. Lloyd's and 
Wm. and Mary were determined to go that it might be 
over. I accompanied them to the thorn beside Rydale 
water. I parted from them first at the top of the hill, 
and they called me back. It rained a little, and rained 
afterwards all the afternoon. I baked bread, and wrote 
to Sara Hutchinson and Coleridge. I passed a pleasant 
evening, but the wind roared so, and it was such a storm 
that I was afraid for them. They came in at nine 
o'clock, no worse for their walk, and cheerful, blooming, 
and happy. 

Thursday ) 2.6th. Mr. Olliff called before Wm. was 
up to say that they would drink tea with us this after- 
noon. We walked into Easedale, to gather mosses, and 
to fetch cream. I went for the cream, and they sate 
under a wall. It was piercing cold. 

Thursday, $rd December 1801. Wm. walked into 
Easedale. Hail and snow. ... I wrote a little bit 
of my letter to Coleridge. . . . 

Friday, ^th. . . . Wm. translating The Prioresses 
Tale. William and Mary walked after tea to Rydale. 
I finished the letter to Coleridge, and we received a 
letter from him and Sara. C.'s letter written in good 
spirits. A lettei of Lamb's about George Dyer with it. 1 

Saturday, $th. . . . Wm. finished The Prioresses 
Tale, and after tea Mary and he wrote it out. . . . 

Sunday, 6tk. A very fine beautiful sunshiny morn- 
ing. Wm. worked a while at Chaucer, then we set 

1 An unprinted letter. ED. 


forward to walk into Easedale. . . . We walked back- 
wards and forwards in the flat field, which makes the 
second course of Easedale, with that beautiful rock in the 
field beside us, and all the rocks and the woods and the 
mountains enclosing us round. The sun was shining 
among them, the snow thinly scattered upon the tops of 
the mountains. In the afternoon we sate by the fire : I 
read Chaucer aloud, and Mary read the first canto of The 
Fairy Queen. After tea Mary and I walked to Amble- 
side for letters. ... It was a sober starlight evening. 
The stars not shining as it were with all their bright- 
ness when they were visible, and sometimes hiding 
themselves behind small greying clouds, that passed 
soberly along. We opened C/s letter at Wilcock's door. 
We thought we saw that he wrote in good spirits, so 
we came happily homewards where we arrived 2 hours 
after we left home. It was a sad melancholy letter, and 
prevented us all from sleeping. 

Monday Morning, jth. We rose by candlelight. A 
showery unpleasant morning, after a downright rainy 
night. We determined, however, to go to Keswick if 
possible, and we set off a little after 9 o'clock. When 
we were upon the Raise, it snowed very much ; and the 
whole prospect closed in upon us, like a moorland 
valley, upon a moor very wild. But when we were at 
the top of the Raise we saw the mountains before us. 
The sun shone upon them, here and there ; and Wythe- 
burn vale, though wild, looked soft The day went on 
cheerfully and pleasantly. Now and then a hail shower 
attacked us ; but we kept up a good heart, for Mary is 
a famous jockey. . . . We reached Greta Hall at about 
one o'clock. Met Mrs. C. in the field. Derwent in the 
cradle asleep. Hartley at his dinner. Derwent the 
image of his father. Hartley well. We wrote to C. 
Mrs. C. left us at J past 2. We drank tea by 
ourselves, the children playing about us. Mary said to 
Hartley, "Shall I take Derwent with me?" "No," 
says H., "I cannot spare my little brother," in the 


sweetest tone possible, "and he can't do without his 
mamma." "Well," says Mary, "why can't I be his 
mamma? Can't he have more mammas than one ? ;; "No, ;3 
says H. " What for?" "Because they do not love, 
and mothers do/' "What is the difference between 
mothers and mammas ? :3 Looking at his sleeves, 
" Mothers wear sleeves like this, pulling his own tight 
down, and mammas ; ' (pulling them up, and making a 
bustle about his shoulders) " so." We parted from 
them at 4 o'clock. It was a little of the dusk when we 
set off. Cotton mills lighted up. The first star at 
Nadel Fell, but it was never dark. We rode very 
briskly. Snow upon the Raise. Reached home at 
seven o'clock. William at work with Chaucer, The God 
of Love. Sate latish. I wrote a letter to Coleridge. 

Tuesday^ Wi Decembe?' 1801. A dullish, rainyish 
morning. Wm. at work with Chaucer. I read Bruce's 
Lochleven. . . . William worked at Tfie Cuckoo and the 
Nightingale till he was tired. . . . 

Wednesday Morning^ qth December. ... I read 
Palemon and Ardte. . . . William writing out his 
alteration of Chaucer's Cuckoo and Nightingale. . . . 
When I had finished a letter to C., , , . Mary and I 
walked into Easedale, and backwards and forwards 
in that large field under George Rawson's white 
cottage. We had intended gathering mosses, and for 
that purpose we turned into the green lane, behind the 
tailor's, but it was too dark to see the mosses. The 
river came galloping past the Church, as fast as it could 
come ; and when we got into Easedale we saw Churn 
Milk Force, like a broad stream of snow at the little 
foot-bridge. We stopped to look at the company of 
rivers, which came hurrying down the vale, this way 
and that. It was a valley of streams and islands, with 
that great waterfall at the head, and lesser falls in 
different parts of the mountains, coming down to these 
rivers. We could hear the sound of the lesser falls, but 
we could not see them. We walked backwards and 


forwards till all distant objects, except the white shape 
of the waterfall and the lines of the mountains, were 
gone. We had the crescent moon when we went out, 
and at our return there were a few stars that shone 
dimly, but it was a grey cloudy night. 

Thursday, loth December. . . . We walked into 
Easedale to gather mosses, and then we went ... up 
the Gill, beyond that little waterfall. It was a wild 
scene of crag and mountain. One craggy point rose 
above the rest irregular and rugged, and very impressive 
It was. We were very unsuccessful in our search 
after mosses. Just when the evening was closing in, 
Mr. Clarkson came to the door. It was a fine frosty 
evening. We played at cards. 

Saturday, I2/A . . . Snow upon the ground. 
... All looked cheerful and bright. Helm Crag rose 
very bold and craggy, a Being by itself, and behind it 
was the large ridge of mountain, smooth as marble and 
snow white. All the mountains looked like solid stone, 
on our left, going from Grasmere, i.e. White Moss and 
Nab Scar. The snow hid all the grass, and all signs of 
vegetation, and the rocks showed themselves boldly 
everywhere, and seemed more stony than rock or stone. 
The birches on the crags beautiful, red brown and 
glittering. The ashes glittering spears with their up- 
right stems. The hips very beautiful, and so good ! ! 
and, dear Coleridge ! I ate twenty for thee, when I was 
by myself. I came home first. They walked too slow 
for me. Win. went to look at Langdale Pikes. We 
had a sweet invigorating walk. Mr. Clarkson came in 
before tea. We played at cards. Sate up late. The 
moon shone upon the waters below Silver How, and 
above it hung, combining with Silver How on one side, 
a bowl-shaped moon, the curve downwards, the white 
fields, glittering roof of Thomas Ashburner's house, 
the dark yew tree, the white fields gay and beautiful. 
\Vm. lay with his curtains open that he might see it. 


Sunday, i$t/i. Mr. Clarkson left us, leading his 
horse. . . . The boy brought letters from Coleridge, 
and from Sara. Sara in bad spirits about C. 

Monday^ i^th December. Wm. and Mary walked to 
Ambleside in the morning to buy mouse-traps. ... I 
wrote to Coleridge a very long letter while they were 
absent. Sate by the fire in the evening reading. 

Thursday, ijth. Snow in the night and still snow- 
ing. . . . Ambleside looked excessively beautiful as we 
came out like a village in another country ; and the 
light cheerful mountains were seen, in the long distance, 
as bright and as clear as at mid-day, with the blue sky 
above them. We heard waterfowl calling out by the 
lake side. Jupiter was very glorious above the Amble- 
side hills, and one large star hung over the corner of the 
hills on the opposite side of Rydale water. 

Friday, i$>tk December iSor. Mary and Wm. 
walked round the two lakes. I staid at home to make 
bread. I afterwards went to meet them, and I met 
Wm. Mary had gone to look at Langdale Pikes. It 
was a cheerful glorious day. The birches and all trees 
beautiful, hips bright red, mosses green. I wrote to 

Sunday ^ 2o//z December. It snowed all day. It was 
a very deep snow. The brooms were very beautiful, 
arched feathers with wiry stalks pointed to the end, 
smaller and smaller. They waved gently with the weight 
of the snow. 

Monday list being the shortest day, Mary walked to 
Ambleside for letters. It was a wearisome walk, for the 
snow lay deep upon the roads and it was beginning to 
thaw. I stayed at home. Wm. sate beside me, and 
read The Pedlar. He was in good spirits, and full of 
hope of what he should do with it. He went to meet 
Mary, and they brought four letters two from Coleridge, 
one from Sara, and one from France. Coleridge's were 


melancholy letters. He had been very ill. We were 
made very unhappy. \Vm. wrote to him, and directed 
the letter into Somersetshire. I finished it after tea. 
In the afternoon Mary and I ironed. 

Tuesday, i*2?id. . . . Wm. composed a few lines of 
The Pedlar. We talked about Lamb's tragedy as we 
went down the White Moss. We stopped a long time in 
going to watch a little bird with a salmon-coloured 
breast, a white cross or T upon its wings, and a brownish 
back with faint stripes. ... It began to pick upon the 
road at the distance of four yards from us, and advanced 
nearer and nearer till it came within the length of W.'s 
stick, without any apparent fear of us. As we came up 
the White Moss, we met an old man, who I saw was a 
beggar by his two bags hanging over his shoulder ; but, 
from half laziness, half indifference, and wanting to try 
him, if he would speak, I let him pass. He said nothing, 
and my heart smote me. I turned back, and said, " You 
are begging ? " " Ay," says he. I gave him something. 
William, judging from his appearance, joined in, " I 
suppose you were a sailor?" "Ay," he replied, " I 
have been 57 years at sea, 12 of them on board a man- 
of-war under Sir Hugh Palmer." "Why have you not 
a pension?" " I have no pension, but I could have got 
into Greenwich hospital, but all my officers are dead." 
He was 75 years of age, had a freshish colour in his 
cheeks, grey hair, a decent hat with a binding- round 
the edge, the hat worn brown and glossy, his shoes were 
small thin shoes low in the quarters, pretty good. They 
had belonged to a gentleman. His coat was frock 
shaped, coming over his thighs. It had been joined up 
at the seams behind with paler blue, to let it out, and 
there were three bell-shaped patches of darker blue 
behind, where the buttons had been. His breeches 
were either of fustian, or grey cloth, with strings hanging- 
down, whole and tight. He had a checked shirt on, 
and a small coloured handkerchief tied round his neck. 
His bags were hung over each shoulder, and lay on each 


side of him, below his breast. One was brownish and 
of coarse stuff, the other was white with meal on the out- 
side, and his blue waistcoat was whitened with meal. 

We overtook old Fleming at Rydale, leading his 
little Dutchman-like grandchild along the slippery road. 
The same face seemed to be natural to them both the 
old man and the little child and they went hand in 
hand, the grandfather cautious, yet looking proud of his 
charge. He had two patches of new cloth at the 
shoulder-blades of his faded claret-coloured coat, like 
eyes at each shoulder, not worn elsewhere. I found 
Mary at home in her riding-habit, all her clothes being 
put up. We were very sad about Coleridge. , . . We 
stopped to look at the stone seat at the top of the hill. 
There was a white cushion upon it, round at the edge 
like a cushion, and the rock behind looked soft as velvet, 
of a vivid green, and so tempting ! The snow too looked 
as soft as a down cushion. A young foxglove, like 
a star, in the centre. There were a few green lichens 
about it, and a few withered brackens of fern here and 
there upon the ground near, all else was a thick snow ; 
no footmark to it, not the foot of a sheep. . . . We 
sate snugly round the fire. I read to them the Tale of 
Constance and the Syrian monarch, in the Man of Lawtfs 
Tale, also some of the Prologue. . . . 

Wednesday ', i^rd. . . . Mary wrote out the Tales 
from Chaucer for Coleridge. William worked at The 
Ruined Cottage and made himself very ill. ... A 
broken soldier came to beg in the morning. Afterwards 
a tall woman, dressed somewhat in a tawdry style, wifh a 
long checked muslin apron, a beaver hat, and throughout 
what are called good clothes. Her daughter h^d f gcaa"6 
before, with a soldier and his wife. She had busied 'fc$r l 
husband at Whitehaven, and was going / 
Cheshire. fc 

Thursday, 24^. Still a thaw. Wm., 
sate comfortably round the fire in the evening^nd read 


Chaucer. Thoughts of last year. I took out my old 

Friday, *2.$th. Christmas Day. We received a letter 
from Coleridge. His letter made us uneasy about him. 
I was glad I was not by myself when I received it. 

Saturday^ 2,6th. . . . We walked to Rydale. Gras- 
mere Lake a beautiful image of stillness, clear as glass, 
reflecting all things. The wind was up, and the waters 
sounding. The lake of a rich purple, the fields a soft 
yellow, the island yellowish-green, the copses red-brown, 
the mountains purple, the church and buildings, how 
quiet they were ! Poor Coleridge, Sara, and dear little 
Dervvent here last year at this time. After tea we sate 
by the fire comfortably. I read aloud The Miller's Tale. 
Wrote to Coleridge. . . . Wm. wrote part of the poem 
to Coleridge. 1 

Sunday, 2.7 th. A fine soft beautiful mild day, with 
gleams of sunshine. William went to take in his boat 
I sate in John ; s Grove a little w^hile. Mary came home. 
Mary wrote some lines of the third part of his poem, 
which he brought to read to us, when we came 
home. . . . 

Monday, i^th of December. William, Mary, and I 
set off on foot to Keswick. We carried some cold mutton 
in our pockets, and dined at John Stanley's, where they 
were making Christmas pies. The sun shone, but it 
was coldish. We parted from Wm. upon the Raise. 
He joined us opposite Sara's rock. He was busy in 
composition, and sate down upon the wall. We did not 
see him again till we arrived at John Stanley's. There 
we roasted apples in the room. After we had left John 
Stanley's, Wm. discovered that he had lost his gloves. 
He turned back, but they were gone. Wm. rested often. 
Once he left his Spenser, and Mary turned back for it, 
and found it upon the bank, where we had last rested. 

1 See Stanzas, written in my Pocket Copy of Thomson's' Castle of 
Indolence^ " Poetical Works, " vol. ii. p. 305. ED. 


. . . We reached Greta Hall at about ^ past 5 o'clock. 
The children and Mrs. C. well. After tea, message 
came from Wilkinson, who had passed us on the road, 
inviting Win. to sup at the Oak. He went. Met a 
young man (a predestined Marquis) called Johnston. 
He spoke to him familiarly of the L. B. He had seen 
a copy presented by the Queen to Mrs. Harcourt Said 
he saw them everywhere, and wondered they did not sell. 
We all went weary to bed. . . . 

Tuesday, 29 fh. A fine morning. A thin fog upon 
the hills which soon disappeared. The sun shone. 
Wilkinson went with us to the top of the hill. We turned 
out of the road at the second mile stone, and passed a 
pretty cluster of houses at the foot of St. John's Vale. 
The houses were among tall trees, partly of Scotch fir, 
and some naked forest trees. We crossed a bridge just 
below these houses, and the river winded sweetly along 
the meadows. Our road soon led us along the sides ol 
dreary bare hills, but we had a glorious prospect to the 
left of Saddleback, half-way covered with snow, and 
underneath the comfortable white houses and the village 
of Threlkeld. These houses and the village want trees 
about them. Skiddaw was behind us, and dear Cole- 
ridge's desert home. As we ascended the hills it grew 
very cold and slippery. Luckily, the wind was at our 
backs, and helped us on. A sharp hail shower gathered 
at the head of Martindale, and the view upwards was 
very grand wild cottages, seen through the hurrying 
hail -shower. The wind drove, and eddied about and 
about, and the hills looked large and swelling through 
the storm. We thought of Coleridge. O ! the bonny 
nooks, and windings, and curlings of the beck, down at 
the bottom, of the steep green mossy banks. We dined 
at the public-house on porridge, with a second course 
of Christmas pies. We were well received by the land- 
lady, and her little Jewish daughter was glad to see us 
again. The husband a very handsome man. While 
i \ve were eating our dinner a traveller came in. He 


had walked over Kirkstone, that morning. We were 
much amused by the curiosity of the landlord and land- 
lady to learn who he was, and by his mysterious manner 
of letting out a little bit of his errand, and yet telling 
nothing. He had business further up in the vale. He 
left them with this piece of information to work upon, 
and I doubt not they discovered who he was and all his 
business before the next day at that hour. The woman 
told us of the riches of a Mr. Walker, formerly of Gras- 
mere. We said, " What, does he do nothing for his 
relations ? He has a sickly sister at Grasmere." " Why," 
said the man, " I daresay if they had any sons to put 
forward he would do it for them, but he has children of 
his own." 

(N.B. His fortune is above ^60,000, and he has 
two children 1 1) 

The landlord went about a mile and a half with us to 
put us in the right way. The road was often very 
slippery, the wind high, and it was nearly dark before 
we got into the right road. I was often obliged to crawl 
on all fours, and Mary fell many a time. A stout young 
man whom we met on the hills, and who knew Mr. 
Clarkson, very kindly set us into the right road, and we 
inquired again near some houses and were directed, by 
a miserable, poverty-struck, looking woman, who had 
been fetching water, to go down a miry lane. We soon 
got into the main road and reached Mr. Clarkson's at 
tea time. Mary H. spent the next day with us, and we 
walked on Dunmallet before dinner, but it snowed a little. 
The day following, being New Year's Eve, we accom- 
panied Mary to Howtown Bridge. 



JULY 1802) 

New Year's Day. We walked, Wm. and I, towards 

January 2nd. It snowed all day. We walked near 
to Dalemain in the snow. 

Jamiary $rd. Sunday. Mary brought us letters 
from Sara and Coleridge and we went with her home- 
wards to ... Parted at the stile on the Pooley side, 
Thomas Wilkinson dined with us and stayed supper. 

I do not recollect how the rest of our time was spent 
exactly. We had a very sharp frost which broke on 
Friday the I5th January, or rather on the morning of 
Saturday i6th. 

On Sunday the i/th we went to meet Mary. It 
was a mild gentle thaw. She stayed with us till 
Friday, 22nd January. On Thursday we dined at Mr. 
Myers's, and on Friday, 22nd, we parted from Mary. 
Before our parting we sate under a wall in the sun near 
a cottage above Stain ton Bridge. The field in which 
we sate sloped downwards to a nearly level meadow, 
round which the Emont flowed in a small half-circle as 
at Lochleven. 1 The opposite bank is woody, steep as a 
wall, but not high, and above that bank the fields slope 

1 This refers probably to Loch Leven in Argyll, but its point is 
not obvious, and Dorothy Wordsworth had not then been in 
Scotland. ED. 


gently, and irregularly down to it. These fields are 
surrounded by tall hedges, with trees among them, and 
there are clumps or grovelets of tall trees here and there. 
Sheep and cattle were in the fields. Dear Mary ! there 
we parted from her. I daresay as often as she passes 
that road she will turn in at the gate to look at this 
sweet prospect. There was a barn and I think two or 
three cottages to be seen among the trees, and slips of 
lawn and irregular fields. During our stay at Mr. 
Clarkson's we walked every day, except that stormy 
Thursday. We dined at Thomas Wilkinson's on Friday 
the i 5th', and walked to Penrith for Mary. The trees 
were covered with hoar-frost grasses, and trees, and 
hedges beautiful ; a glorious sunset ; frost keener than 
ever. Next day thaw. Mrs. Clarkson amused us with 
many stories of her family and of persons whom she had 
known. I wish I had set them down as I heard them, 
when they were fresh in my memory. . . . Mrs. Clark- 
son knew a clergyman and his wife who brought up ten 
children upon a curacy, sent two sons to college, and he 
left ,1000 when he died. The wife was very generous, 
gave food and drink to all poor people. She had a 
passion for feeding animals. She killed a pig with 
feeding it over much. When it was dead she said, 
"To be sure it's a great loss, but I thank God it did not 
die clemmed" (the Cheshire word for starved). Her 
husband was veiy fond of playing back-gammon, and 
used to play whenever he could get anybody to play with 
him. She had played much in her youth, and was an 
excellent player ; but her husband knew nothing of this, 
till one day she said to him, " You're fond of back- 
gammon, come play with me." He was surprised. She 
told him she had kept it to herself, while she had a young 
family to attend to, but that now she would play with 
him ! So they began to play, and played every night. 
Mr. C. told us many pleasant stories. His journey from 
London to Wisbeck on foot when a schoolboy, knife 
and stick, postboy, etc., the white horse sleeping at the 


turnpike gate snoring, the turnpike man ; s clock ticking, 
the burring story, the story of the mastiff, bull-baiting 
by men at Wisbeck. 

On Saturday, January 23rd, we left Eusemere at 10 
o'clock in the morning, I behind Wm. Mr. Clarkson 
on his Galloway. 1 The morning not very promising, 
the wind cold. The mountains large and dark, but 
only thinly streaked with snow ; a strong wind. We 
dined in Grisdale on ham, bread, and milk. We parted 
from Mr. C. at one o'clock. It rained all the way home. 
We struggled with the wind, and often rested as we went 
along. A hail shower met us before we reached the 
Tarn, and the way often was difficult over the snow ; 
but at the Tarn the view closed in. We saw nothing 
but mists and snow : and at first the ice on the Tarn 
below us cracked and split, yet without water, a dull 
grey white. We lost our path, and could see the Tarn 
no longer. We made our way out with difficulty, guided 
by a heap of stones which we well remembered. We 
were afraid of being bewildered in the mists, till the 
darkness should overtake us. We were long before we 
knew that we were in the right track, but thanks to 
William's skill we knew it long before we could see our 
way before us. There was no footmark upon the snow 
either of man or beast. We saw four sheep before we 
had left the snow region. The vale of Grasmere, when 
the mists broke away, looked soft and grave, of a 
yellow hue. It was dark before we reached home. O 
how happy and comfortable we felt ourselves, sitting by 
our own fire, when we had got off our wet clothes. We 
talked about the Lake of Como, read the description, 
looked about us, and felt that we were happy. . . . 

Sunday, 2.^tk. We went into the orchard as soon as 
breakfast was over. Laid out the situation for our new 
room, and sauntered a while. Wm. walked in the 
morning. I wrote to Coleridge. . . . 

1 A Galloway pony. ED. 


Monday, z^th January. . . . Wm. tired with com- 
position. . . . 

Tuesday ) 26th. . . . We are going to walk, and I 
am ready and waiting by the kitchen fire for Wm. 
We set forward intending to go into Easedale, but the wind 
being loudish, and blowing down Easedale, we walked 
under Silver How for a shelter. We went a little 
beyond the syke ; then up to John's Grove, where the 
storm of Thursday has made sad ravages. Two of the 
finest trees are uprooted, one lying with the turf about 
its root, as if the whole together had been pared by a 
knife. The other is a larch. Several others are blown 
aside, one is snapped in two. We gathered together 
a faggot. Wm. had tired himself with working. , . . 
We received a letter from Mary with an account of 
C. 3 s arrival in London. I wrote to Mary before bed- 
time. . . . Wm. wTOte out part of his poem, and 
endeavoured to alter it, and so made himself ill. I 
copied out the rest for him. We went late to bed. Wm. 
wrote to Annette. 1 

Wednesday, 2,7 tk. A beautiful mild morning; the sun 
shone ; the lake was still, and all the shores reflected 
in it. I finished my letter to Mary. Wm. wrote to 
Stuart. I copied sonnets for him. Mr. Olliff called and 
asked us to tea to-morrow. We stayed in the house till 
the sun shone more dimly and we thought the afternoon 
was closing in, but though the calmness of the Lake was 
gone with the bright sunshine, yet it was delightfully 
pleasant. We found no letter from Coleridge. One 
from Sara which we sate upon the wall to read ; a sweet 
long letter, with a most interesting account of Mr. 
Patrick. We cooked no dinner. Sate a while by the 
fire, and then drank tea at Frank Raty's. As we went 
past the Nab I was surprised to see the youngest child 
amongst them running about by itself, with a canny 
round fat face,' and rosy cheeks. I called in. They 

1 See the "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335. ED. 


gave me some nuts. Everybody surprised that we 
should come over Grisdale. Paid .1:3:3 for letters 
come since December 1st. Paid also about 8 shillings 
at Penrith. The bees were humming about the hive. 
William raked a few stones off the garden, his first 
garden labour this year. I cut the shrubs. When we 
returned from Frank's, Wm. wasted his mind in 
the Magazines. I wrote to Coleridge, and Mrs. C., 
closed the letters up to Samson. Then w r e sate by the 
fire, and were happy, only our tender thoughts became 
painful. 1 Went to bed at J past 1 1. 

Thursday, *2th. A downright rain. A wet night. 
Wm. wTOte an epitaph, and altered one that he wrote 
when he was a boy. It cleared up after dinner. 
W 7 e were both in miserable spirits, and very doubtful 
about keeping our engagements to the OllifTs. We 
walked first within view of Rydale then to Low^thwaite, 
then we went to Mr. OllifF. We talked a while. Wm. 
was tired. We then played at cards. Came home in the 
rain. Very dark. Came w r ith a lantern. Wm. out of 
spirits and tired. He called at J past 3 to know the hour. 

Friday f , igth January, Wm. was very unwell. 
Worn out with his bad night's rest. I read to him, 
to endeavour to make him sleep. Then I came into 
the other room, and I read the first book of Paradise 
Lost. After dinner we walked to Ambleside. ... A 
heart-rending letter from Coleridge. We were sad as 
we could be. Wm. wrote to him. We talked about 
Wm.'s going to London. It was a mild afternoon. 
There was an unusual softness in the prospects as we 
went, a rich yellow upon the fields, and a soft grave 
purple on the waters. When we returned many stars 
were out, the clouds were moveless, and the sky soft 
purple, the lake of Rydale calm, Jupiter behind. 
Jupiter at least we call him, but William says we always 

1 Compare, in Lines written in Early Spring, vol. i. p. 269 
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts 
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. ED. 


call the largest star Jupiter. When we came home we 
both wrote to C. I was stupefied. 

Saturday^ Ja?iuary $Qtk. A cold dark morning. 
William chopped wood. I brought it in a basket. . . . 
He asked me to set down the story of Barbara Wilkin- 
son's turtle dove. Barbara is an old maid. She had 
two turtle doves. One of them died, the first year I 
think. The other continued to live alone in its cage for 
nine years, but for one whole year it had a companion 
and daily visitor a little mouse, that used to come and 
feed with it ; and the dove would carry it and cover it 
over with its wings, and make a loving noise to it. The 
mouse, though it did not testify equal delight in the 
dove's company, was yet at perfect ease. The poor 
mouse disappeared, and the dove was left solitary till its 
death. It died of a short sickness, and was buried under 
a tree, with funeral ceremony by Barbara and her 
maidens, and one or two others. 

On Saturday, $oth, Wm. worked at The Pedlar all 
the morning. He kept the dinner waiting till four 
o'clock. He was much tired. . . . 

Sunday ^ ^ist. Wm. had slept very ill. He was 
tired. We walked round the two lakes. Grasmere was 
very soft, and Rydale was extremely beautiful from the 
western side. Nab Scar was just topped by a cloud 
which, cutting it off as high as it could be cut off, 
made the mountain look uncommonly lofty. 1 We sate 
down a long time with different plans. I always love 
to walk that way, because it is the way I first came to 
Rydale and Grasmere, and because our dear Coleridge 
did also. When I came with Wm., 6 and \ years ago, 
it was just at sunset. There was a rich yellow light on 
the waters, and the islands were reflected there. To-day 
it was grave and soft, but not perfectly calm. William 
says it was much such a day as when Coleridge came with 

1 Compare the poem To the Clouds, vol. viii. p. 142, and the 
^Fenwick note to that poem. ED. 


him. The sun shone out before we reached Grasmere. 
We sate by the roadside at the foot of the Lake, close to 
Mary's dear name, which she had cut herself upon the 
stone. Wm. cut at it with his knife to make it 
plainer. 1 \Ve amused ourselves for a long time in 
watching the breezes, some as if they came from" the 
bottom of the lake, spread in a circle, brushing along 
the surface of the water, and growing more delicate as 
it were thinner, and of a paler colour till they died away. 
Others spread out like a peacock's tail, and some went 
right forward this -fray and that in all directions. The 
lake was still where these breezes were not, but they made 
it all alive. I found a strawberry blossom in a rock. 
The little slender flower had more courage than the 
green leaves, for they were but half expanded and half 
grown, but the blossom was spread full out. I uprooted 
it rashly, and I felt as if I had been committing an out- 
rage, so I planted it again. It will have but a stormy 
life of it, but let it live if it can. We found Calvert here. 
I brought a handkerchief full of mosses, which I placed 
on the chimneypiece when Calvert was gone. He dined 
with us, and carried away the encyclopaedias. After 
they were gone, I spent some time in trying to reconcile 
myself to the change, and in rummaging out and 
arranging some other books in their places. One good 
thing is this there is a nice elbow place for Wm., and 
he may sit for the picture of John Bunyan any day. 
Mr. Simpson drank tea with us. We paid our rent to 
Benson. . . . 

Monday r , February 1st. Wm. slept badly. I baked 
bread. William worked hard at The Pedlar^ and tired 
himself. . . . There was a purplish light upon Mr. 
OllifPs house, which made me look to the other side of 
the vale, when I saw a strange stormy mist coming down 
the side of Silver How of a reddish purple colour. It 
soon came on a heavy rain. ... A box with books 

1 This still exists, but is known to few. ED. 


came from London. I sate by W.'s bedside, and read in 
TJie Pleasures of Hope to him, which came in the box. 
He could not fall asleep. 

Tuesday, ind February. . . . Wm. went into the 
orchard after breakfast, to chop wood. We walked 
into Easedale. . . . Walked backwards and forwards 
between Goody Bridge and Butterlip How. William 
wished to break off composition, but was unable, and so 
did himself harm. The sun shone, but it was cold. 
William worked at The Pedlar. After tea I read aloud 
the eleventh book of Paradise Lost. We were much 
impressed, and also melted into tears. The papers 
came in soon after I had laid aside the book a good 
thing for my Wm. . . . 

Wednesday, $rd. A rainy morning. We walked to 
Rydale for letters. Found one from Mrs. Cookson and 
Mary H. It snowed upon the hills. We sate down on 
the wall at the foot of White Moss. Sate by the fire in 
the evening. Wm. tired, and did not compose. He 
went to bed soon, and could not sleep. I wrote to Mary 
H. Sent off the letter by Fletcher. Wrote also to 
Coleridge. Read Wm. to sleep after dinner, and read 
to him in bed till ^ past one. 

Thursday, 4/& . . . Wm. thought a little about 
The Pedlar. Read Smollet's life. 

Friday ', $th. A cold snowy morning. Snow and 
hail showers. We did not walk. Wm. cut wood a 
little. Sate up late at The Pedlar. 

Saturday, 6th February. . . . Two very affecting 
letters from Coleridge ; resolved to try another climate. 
I was stopped in my writing, and made ill by the letters. 
. . , Wrote again after tea, and translated two or three 
of Lessing's Fables. 

Sunday, 7th. A fine clear frosty morning. The 
eaves drop with the heat of the sun all day long. The 
ground thinly covered with snow. The road black, 
rocks black. Before night the island was quite green. 
The sun had melted all the snow. Wm. working at 


his poem. We sate by the fire, and did not walk, but 
read The Pedlar^ thinking It done ; but W. could find 
fault with one part of it. It was uninteresting, and 
must be altered. Poor \Vm. ! 

Monday Morning, %th February 1802. It was very 
windy and rained hard all the morning. William worked 
at his poem and I read a little in Lessing and the 
grammar. A chaise came past. 

After dinner (i.e. we set off at about ^ past 4) we 
went towards Rydale for letters. It was a " cauld clash? 
The rain had been so cold that it hardly melted the 
snow. We stopped at Park's to get some straw round 
Wm. 7 s shoes. The young mother was sitting by a 
bright wood fire, with her youngest child upon her lap, 
and the other two sate on each side of the chimney. 
The light of the fire made them a beautiful sight, with 
their innocent countenances, their rosy cheeks, and 
glossy curling hair. We sate and talked about poor 
Ellis, and our journey over the Hawes. Before we had 
come to the shore of the Lake, we met our patient bow- 
bent friend, with his little wooden box at his back. 
"Where are you going ?" said he. "To Rydale for letters." 
" I have two for you in my box." We lifted up the lid, 
and there they lay. Poor fellow, he straddled and 
pushed on with all his might ; but we outstripped him 
far away when we had turned back with our letters. . . . 
I could not help comparing lots with him. He goes at 
that slow pace every morning, and after having wrought 
a hard day's work returns at night, however weary he 
may be, takes it all quietly, and, though perhaps he 
neither feels thankfulness nor pleasure, when he eats his 
supper, and has nothing to look forward to but falling 
asleep in bed, yet I daresay he neither murmurs nor 
thinks it hard. He seems mechanised to labour. We 
broke the seal of Coleridge's letters, and I had light 
enough just to see that he was not ill. I put it in my 
pocket. At the top of the White Moss I took it to my 
bosom, a safer place for it. The sight was wild. There 


was a strange mountain lightness, when we were at the 
top of the White Moss. I have often observed it there 
m the evenings, being between the two valleys. There 
is more of the sky there than any other place. It has a 
strange effect. Sometimes, along with the obscurity of 
evening, or night, it seems almost like a peculiar sort of 
light. There was not much wind till we came to John's 
Grove, then it roared right out of the grove, all the trees 
were tossing about Coleridge's letter somewhat damped 
us. It spoke with less confidence about France, 
Wm. wrote to him. The other letter was from 
Montagu, with 8. Wm. was very unwell, tired when 
he had written. He went to bed and left me to write to 
M. H., Montagu, and Calvert, and Mrs. Coleridge, I 
had written in his letter to Coleridge. We wrote to 
Calvert to beg him not to fetch us on Sunday. Wm. left 
me with a little peat fire. It grew less. I wrote on, 
and was starved. At 2 o'clock I went to put my letters 
under Fletcher's door. I never felt such a cold night. 
There was a strong wind and it froze very hard. I 
gathered together all the clothes I could find (for I durst 
not go into the pantry for fear of waking Wm.). At 
first when I went to bed I seemed to be warm. I 
suppose because the cold air, which I had just left, no 
longer touched my body ; but I soon found that I was 
mistaken. I could not sleep from sheer cold. I had 
baked pies and bread in the morning. Coleridge's 
letter contained prescriptions. 

N.B. The moon came out suddenly when we were 
at John's Grove, and a star or two besides. 

Tuesday. Wm. had slept better. He fell to work, 
and made himself unwell- We did not walk. A funeral 
came by of a poor woman who had drowned herself, 
some say because she was hardly treated by her husband ; 
others that he was a very decent respectable man, and 
she but an indifferent wife. However this was, she had 
only been married to him last Whitsuntide and had had 
very indifferent health ever since. She had got up in the 


night, and drowned herself in the pond. She had re- 
quested to be buried beside her mother, and so she was 
brought in a hearse. She was followed by some very 
decent-looking men on horseback, her sister Thomas 
Fleming's wife in a chaise, and some others with her, 
and a cart full of women. Molly says folks thinks o' 
their mothers. Poor body, she has been little thought of 
by any body else. \Ve did a little of Lessing. I 
attempted a fable, but my head ached ; my bones were 
sore with the cold of the day before, and I was downright 
stupid. We went to bed, but not till Wm. had tired 

Wednesday^ lot/i. A very snowy morning. ... I 
was writing out the poem, as we hoped for a final writing. 
. . . We read the first part and were delighted with it, 
but Wm. afterwards . got to some ugly place, and went 
to bed tired out. A wild, moonlight night. 

Thursday ', nth. . . . Wm. sadly tired and 
working at The Pedlar. . . . We made up a good fire 
after dinner, and Wm. brought his mattress out, and 
lay down on the floor. I read to him the life of Ben 
Jonson, and some short poems of his, which were too 
interesting for him, and would not let him go to sleep. 
I had begun with Fletcher, but he was too dull for me. 
Fuller says, in his Life of Jonson (speaking of his plays), 
" If his latter be not so sprit eful and vigorous as his first 
pieces, all that are old, and all who desire to be old, 
should excuse him therein." He says he " beheld " wit- 
combats between Shakespeare and Jonson, and compares 
Shakespeare to an English man-of-war, Jonson to a 
great Spanish galleon. There is one affecting line in 
Jonson s epitaph on his first daughter 

Here lies to each her parents ruth, 
Mary the daughter of their youth. 
At six months' end she parted hence, 
In safety of her innocence. A 


Two beggars to-day. I continued to read to Wm. 


We were much delighted with the poem of Penshurstl 
Wm. rose better. I was cheerful and happy. He 
got to work again. 

Friday^ 12 th. A very fine, bright, clear, hard frost. 
Wm. working again. I recopied The Pedlar, but poor 
Wm. all the time at work. ... In the afternoon a 
poor woman came, she said, to beg, . . . but she has 
been used to go a-begging, for she has often come here. 
Her father lived to the age of 105. She is a woman of 
strong bones, with a complexion that has been beautiful, and 
remained very fresh last year, but now she looks broken, 
and her little boy a pretty little fellow, and whom I have 
loved for the sake of Basil looks thin and pale. I ob- 
served this to her. " Aye," says she, " we have all been ill. 
Our house was nearly unroofed in the storm, and we lived 
in it so for more than a week." The child wears a ragged 
drab coat and a fur cap. Poor little fellow, I think he 
seems scarcely at all grown since the first time I saw him. 
William was with me when we met him in a lane going 
to Skelwith Bridge. He looked very pretty. He was 
walking lazily, in the deep narroiv lane, overshadowed 
with the hedgerows, his meal poke hung over his shoulder. 
He said he " was going a laiting." Poor creature ! He 
now wears the same coat he had on at that time. When 
the woman was gone, I could not help thinking that we 
are not half thankful enough that we are placed in that 
condition of life in which we are. We do not so often 
bless God for this, as we wish for this $o, that ^100, 
etc. etc. We have not, however, to reproach ourselves 
with ever breathing a murmur. This woman's was but 
a common case. The snow still lies upon the ground. 
Just at the closing in of the day, I heard a cart pass the 
door, and at the same time the dismal sound of a crying 
infant. I went to the window, and had light enough to 
see that a man was driving a cart, which seemed not to 
be very full, and that a woman with an infant in her 

1 By Ben Jonson. ED. 


arms was following close behind and a dog close to her. 
It was a wild and melancholy sight \Vm. nibbed his 
tables after candles were lighted, and we sate a long time 
with the windows unclosed, and almost finished writing 
TJie Pedlar; but poor Wm. wore himself out, and me 
out, with labour. We had an affecting conversation. 
Went to bed at 12 o'clock. 

Saturday -, i$tk. It snowed a little this morning. 
Still at work at TJie Pedlar ; altering and refitting. We 
did not walk, though it was a very fine day. We received 
a present of eggs and milk from Janet Dockeray, and 
just before she went, the little boy from the Hill 
brought us a letter from Sara H., and one from the 
Frenchman in London. I wrote to Sara after tea, and 
Wm. took out his old newspapers, and the new ones came 
in soon after. We sate, after I had finished the letter, 
talking; and Wm. read parts of his Recluse aloud to 
me, . . . 

Stmday^ i^tk February. A fine morning. The sun 
shines out, but it has been a hard frost in the night 
There are some little snowdrops that are afraid to put 
their white heads quite out, and a few blossoms of 
hepatica that are half-starved. Wm. left me at work 
altering some passages of 77/5 Pedlar^ and went into the 
orchard. The fine day pushed him on to resolve, and as 
soon as I had read a letter to him, which I had just 
received from Mrs. Clarkson, he said he would go to 
Penrith, so Molly w r as despatched for the horse. I 
worked hard, got the writing finished, and all quite trim. 
I wrote to Mrs. Clarkson, and put up some letters for 
Mary H., and off he went in his blue spencer, and a pair 
of new pantaloons fresh from London. ... I then sate 
over the fire, reading Ben Jonson's Penshurst^ and other 
things. Before sunset, I put on my shawl and walked 
out. The snow-covered mountains were spotted with 
rich sunlight, a palish huffish colour. ... I stood at the 
wishing-gate, and when I came in view of Rydale, I cast 
a long look upon the mountains beyond. They were 


very white, but I concluded that Wm. would have a very 
safe passage over Kirkstone, and I was quite easy about 
him. After dinner, a little before sunset, I walked out 
about 20 yards above Glow-worm Rock. I met a car- 
man, a Highlander I suppose, with four carts, the first three 
belonging to himself, the last evidently to a man and his 
family who had joined company with him, and who I 
guessed to be potters. The carman was cheering his 
horses, and talking to a little lass about ten years of age 
who seemed to make him her companion. She ran to 
the wall, and took up a large stone to support the wheel 
of one of his carts, and ran on before with it in her arms 
to be ready for him. She was a beautiful creature, and 
there was something uncommonly impressive in the 
lightness and joyousness of her manner. Her busi- 
ness seemed to be all pleasure pleasure in her own 
motions, and the man looked at her as if he too was 
pleased, and spoke to her in the same tone in which he 
spoke to his horses. There was a wildness in her whole 
figure, not the wildness of a Mountain lass, but of the 
Road lass, a traveller from her birth, who had wanted 
neither food nor clothes. Her mother followed the last 
cart with a lovely child, perhaps about a year old, at her 
back, and a good-looking girl, about fifteen years old, 
walked beside her. All the children were like the 
mother. She had a very fresh complexion, but she was 
blown with fagging up the steep hill, and with what she 
carried. Her husband was helping the horse to drag the 
cart up by pushing it with his shoulder. I reached 
home, and read German till about 9 o'clock. I wrote to 
Coleridge. Went to bed at about 12 o'clock. ... I 
slept badly, for my thoughts were full of Wm. 

Monday, i %th February. It snowed a good deal, and 
was terribly cold. After dinner it was fair, but I was 
obliged to run all the way to the foot of the White Moss, to 
get the least bit of warmth into me. I found a letter from 
C He was much better, this was very satisfactory, 
but his letter was not an answer to Wm.'s which I 


expected. A letter from Annette. I got tea when I 
reached home, and then set on reading German. I wrote 
part of a letter to Coleridge, went to bed and slept badly. 

Titesday^ 1 6th, A fine morning, but I had persuaded 
myself not to expect Wm., I believe because I was 
afraid of being disappointed. I ironed all day. He 
came just at tea time, had only seen Mary H. for a 
couple of hours between Eamont Bridge and Hartshorn 
Tree. Mrs. C. better. He had had a difficult journey 
over Kirkstone, and came home by Threlkeld. We 
spent a sweet evening. He was better, had altered The 
Pedlar. We went to bed pretty soon. Mr. Graham said 
he wished Wm. had been with him the other day 
he was riding in a post-chaise and he heard a strange 
cry that he could not understand, the sound continued, 
and he called to the chaise driver to stop. It was a little 
girl that was crying as if her heart would burst. She 
had got up behind the chaise, and her cloak had been 
caught by the wheel, and was jammed in, and it hung 
there. She was crying after it, poor thing. Mr. Graham 
took her into the chaise, and her cloak was released from 
the wheel, but the child's misery did not cease, for her 
cloak was torn to rags ; it had been a miserable cloak 
before, but she had no other, and it was the greatest 
sorrow that could befall her. Her name was Alice Fell. 1 
She had no parents, and belonged to the next town. At 
the next town, Mr. G. left money with some respectable 
people in the town, to buy her a new cloak. 

Wednesday, ijtk. A miserable nasty snowy morn- 
ing. We did not walk, but the old man from the hill 
brought us a short letter from Mary H. I copied the 
second part of Peter Bell. . . . 

Thursday ', i8/#. A foggy morning. I copied new 
part of Peter Bell in W.'s absence, and began a letter to 
Coleridge. Wm. came in with a letter from Coleridge. 

1 See the poem Alice Fell, in the " Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 
273. ED. 


. . . We talked together till 1 1 o'clock, when Wm. got 
to work, and was no worse for it. Hard frost. 

Saturday ^ 2O/A . . . I wrote the first part of Peter 
Bell. . . . 

Sunday i 2 1 st. A very wet morning. I wrote the 2nd 
prologue to Peter Bell. . . . After dinner I wrote the 
1st prologue. . . . Snowdrops quite out, but cold and 
winterly ; yet, for all this, a thrush that lives in our 
orchard has shouted and sung its merriest all day long. . . 

Monday -, 22?^. \Vm. brought me 4 letters to read 
from Annette and Caroline, 1 Mary and Sara, and Cole- 
ridge. ... In the evening we walked to the top of the 
hill, then to the bridge. We hung over the wall, and 
looked at the deep stream below. It came with a full, 
steady, yet a very rapid flow down to the lake. The 
sykes made a sweet sound everywhere, and looked very 
interesting in the twilight, and that little one above Mr. 
Olliff's house was very impressive. A ghostly white 
serpent line, it made a sound most distinctly heard of 
itself. The mountains were black and steep, the tops of 
some of them having snow yet visible. 

Tuesday, 7,^rd. . . . When we came out of our own 
doors, that dear thrush was singing upon the topmost 
of the smooth branches of the ash tree at the top of the 
orchard. How long it had been perched on that same 
tree I cannot tell, but we had heard its dear voice in the 
orchard the day through, along with a cheerful 
undersong made by our winter friends, the robins. As 
we came home, I picked up a few mosses by the road- 
side, which I left at home. We then went to John's 
Grove. There we sate a little while looking at the 
fading landscape. The lake, though the objects on the 
shore were fading, seemed brighter than when it is 
perfect day, and the island pushed itself upwards, 
distinct and large. All the shores marked. There was 

1 See " Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335. ED. 


a sweet, sea-like sound in the trees above our heads. 
We walked backwards and forwards some time for dear 
John's sake, then walked to look at Rydale. Wm. 
now reading in Bishop Hall, I going to read German. 
We have a nice singing fire, with one piece of wood. . . . 

Wednesday, 24th. A rainy morning. William re- 
turned from Rydale very wet, with letters. He brought 
a short one from C., a very long one from Mary. 
Wm. wrote to Annette, to Coleridge. ... I wrote a 
little bit to Coleridge. We sent off these letters by 
Fletcher. It was a tremendous night of wind and rain. 
Poor Coleridge ! a sad night for a traveller such as he. 
God be praised he was in safe quarters. Wm. went out. 
He never felt a colder night. 

Thursday ) 2$f7i. A fine, mild, gay, beautiful morn- 
ing. Wm. wrote to Montagu in the morning. . . . 
I reached home just before dark, brought some mosses 
and ivy, and then got tea, and fell to work at German. 
I read a good deal of Lessing's Essay. Wm. came 
home between 9 and 10 o'clock. We sat together by 
the fire till bedtime. Wm. not very much tired. 

Friday \ 26 f A. A grey morning till 10 o'clock, then 
the sun shone beautifully. Mrs. Lloyd's children and 
Mrs. Luff came in a chaise, were here at 1 1 o'clock, then 
went to Mrs. Olliff. Wm. and I accompanied them to 
the gate. I prepared dinner, sought out Peter Bell, 
gave Wm. some cold meat, and then we went to walk. 
We walked first to Butterlip How, where we sate and 
overlooked the dale, no sign of spring but the red tints 
of the woods .and trees. Sate in the sun. Met Charles 
Lloyd near the Bridge. . . . Mr. and Mrs. Luff walked 
home, the Lloyds stayed till 8 o'clock. Wm. always gets 
on better with conversation at home than elsewhere. 
The chaise-driver brought us a letter from Mrs. H., a 
short one from C. We were perplexed about Sara's 
coming. I wrote to Mary. Wm. closed his letter to 
Montagu, and wrote to Calvert and Mrs. Coleridge. 
Birds sang divinely to-day. Wm. better. 


Sunday, 28 f A February. Wm. employed himself 
with The Pedlar. We got papers in the morning-. 

Monday. A fine pleasant day, we walked to Rydale. 

I went on before for the letters, brought two from M. and 
S. H. We climbed over the wall and read them under 
the shelter of a mossy rock. We met Mrs. Lloyd in 
going-. Mrs. OllifPs child ill. The catkins are beautiful 
in the hedges, the ivy is very green. Robert Newton's 
paddock is greenish that is all we see of Spring; 
finished and sent off the letter to Sara, and wrote to 
Mary. Wrote again to Sara, and Wm. wrote to Coleridge. 
Mrs. Lloyd called when I was in bed. 

Tuesday^ A fine grey morning. ... I read German, 
and a little before dinner Wm. also read. We walked 
on Butterlip How under the wind. It rained all the 
while, but we had a pleasant walk. The mountains of 
Easedale, black or covered with snow at the tops, gave 
a peculiar softness to the valley. The clouds hid the 
tops of some of them. The valley was populous and 
enlivened with streams. . . . 

Wednesday. I was so unlucky as to propose to re- 
write The Pedlar. Wm. got to work, and was worn to 
death. We did not walk. I wrote in the afternoon. 

Thursday. Before we had quite finished breakfast 
Calvert's man brought the horses for Wm. We had 
a deal to do, pens to make, poems to put in order for 
writing, to settle for the press, pack up ; and the man 
came before the pens were made, and he was obliged to 
leave me with only two. Since he left me at half-past 

I 1 (it is now 2) I have been putting the drawers into 
order, laid by his clothes which he had thrown here and 
there and everywhere, filed two months' newspapers and 
got my dinner, 2 boiled eggs and 2 apple tarts. I have 
set Molly on to clean the garden a little, and I myself 
have walked. I transplanted some snowdrops the Bees 
are busy. Wm. has a nice bright day. It was hard 

1 March 2nd. ED. 


frost in the night. The Robins are singing sweetly. 
Xow for my walk. I will be busy, l-ivill look well, 
and be well when he comes back to me. O the Darling! 
Here is one of his bitter apples. I can hardly find it in 
my heart to throw it into the fire. ... I walked round 
the two Lakes, crossed the stepping-stones at Rydale foot. 
Sate down where we always sit I was full of thought 
about my darling. Blessings on him. I came home at 
the foot of our own hill under Loughrigg. They are 
making sad ravages in the woods. Benson's wood is 
going, and the woods above the River. The wind has 
blown down a small fir tree on the Rock, that terminates 
John's path. I suppose the wind of Wednesday night. 
I read German after tea. I worked and read the L. B., 
enchanted with the Idiot Boy. Wrote to Wm. and then 
went to bed. It snowed when I went to bed. 

Friday. First walked in the garden and orchard, a 
frosty sunny morning. After dinner I gathered mosses 
in Easedale. I saw before me sitting in the open field, 
upon his pack of rags, the old Ragman that I know. 
His coat is of scarlet in a thousand patches. When I 
came home Molly had shook the carpet and cleaned 
everything upstairs. When I see her so happy in her 
work, and exulting in her own importance, I often think 
of that affecting expression which she made use of to me 
one evening lately. Talking of her good luck in being in 
this house, " Aye, Mistress, them ; at's low laid would have 
been proud creatures could they but have seen where I 
is now, fra what they thought wud be my doom." I was 
tired when I reached home. I sent Molly Ashburner to 
Rydale. No letters. I was sadly mortified. I expected 
one fully from Coleridge. Wrote to William, read the 
L. B., got into sad thoughts, tried at German, but could 
not go on. Read L. B. Blessings on that brother of 
mine ! Beautiful new moon over Silver How. 

Friday Morning. A very cold sunshiny frost. I 
wrote The Pedlar^ and finished it before I went to Mrs. 
Simpson's to drink tea. Miss S. at Keswick, but she 



came home. Mrs. Jameson came in and stayed supper. 
Fletcher's carts went past and I let them go with 
William's letter. Mr. B. S. came nearly home with me. 
I found letters from \Vm., Mary, and Coleridge. I 
wrote to C. Sat up late, and could not fall asleep when 
I went to bed. 

Sunday Morning. A very fine, clear frost. I stitched 
up The Pedlar; wrote out Ruth; read it with the altera- 
tions, then wrote Mary H. Read a little German, . . . 
and in came William, I did not expect him till to-morrow. 
How glad I was. After we had talked about an hour, I 
gave him his dinner. We sate talking and happy. He 
brought two new stanzas of Ruth. . . . 

Monday Morning. A soft rain and mist. We 
walked to Rydale for letters. The Vale looked very 
beautiful in excessive simplicity, yet, at the same time, 
in uncommon obscurity. The Church stood alone 
mountains behind. The meadows looked calm and rich, 
bordering on the still lake. Nothing else to be seen but 
lake and island. . . . 

On Friday evening the moon hung over the northern 
side of the highest point of Silver How, like a gold ring 
snapped in two, and shaven off at the ends. Within 
this ring lay the circle of the round moon, as distinctly 
to be seen as ever the enlightened moon is. William 
had observed the same appearance at Keswick, perhaps 
at the very same moment, hanging over the Newland 
Fells. Sent off a letter to Mary H., also to Coleridge, 
and Sara, and rewrote in the evening the alterations of 
Ruth, which we sent off at the same time. 

Tuesday Morning. William was reading in Ben 
Jonson. He read me a beautiful poem on Love. . . . 
We sate by the fire in the evening, and read The Pedlar 
oven William worked a little, and altered it in a few 
places. . . , 

Wednesday. f , . Win. read in Ben Jonson in the 
morning. I read a little German. We then walked to 


Rydale. Xo letters. They are slashing away in Benson's 
wood. William has since tea been talking about pub- 
lishing the Yorkshire Wolds Poem with The Pedlar. 

Thursday. A fine morning 1 . William worked at the 
poem of The Singing Bird. 1 Just as we were sitting 
down to dinner we heard Mr. Clarkson's voice. I ran 
down, William followed. He was so finely mounted 
that William was more intent upon the horse than the 
rider, an offence easily forgiven, for Mr. Clarkson was 
as proud of it himself as he well could be. . . . 

Friday. A very fine morning. We went to see Mr. 
Clarkson off. The sun shone while it rained, and the 
stones of the walls and the pebbles on the road glittered 
like silver. . . . William finished his poem of The 
Singing Bird. In the meantime I read the remainder 
of Lessing. In the evening after tea William wrote 
Alice Fell. He went to bed tired, with a wakeful mind 
and a weary body. . . . 

Saturday Morning. It was as cold as ever it has 
been all winter, very hard frost . . . William finished 
Alice Fel^ and then wrote the poem of The Beggar 
Woman, taken from a woman whom I had seen in May 
(now nearly two years ago) when John and he were at 
Gallow Hill. I sate with him at intervals all the morning, 
took down his stanzas, etc. . . . After tea I read to 
William that account of the little boy belonging to the 
tall woman, and an unlucky thing it was, for he could 
not escape from those very words, and so he could not 
write the poem. He left it unfinished, and went tired 
to bed. In our walk from Rydale he had got warmed 
with the subject, and had half cast the poem. 

Sunday Morning. William . . . got up at nine 
o'clock, but before he rose he had finished The Beggar 
Boy> and while we were at breakfast ... he wrote the 
poem To a Btitterfly / He ate not a morsel, but sate 

1 First published in 1807, under the title of The Sailors 
Mother. ED. 


with his shirt neck unbuttoned, and his waistcoat open 
while he did it. The thought first came upon him as 
we were talking about the pleasure we both always felt 
at the sight of a butterfly. I told him that I used to 
chase them a little, but that I was afraid of brushing the 
dust off their wings, and did not catch them. He told 
me how he used to kill all the white ones when he went 
to school because they were Frenchmen. ... I wrote 
it down and the other poems, and I read them all over 
to him. . . *. William began to try to alter The Butterfly^ 
and tired himself. . . . 

Monday Morning. We sate reading the poems, and 
I read a little German. . . . During W.'s absence a 
sailor who was travelling from Liverpool to Whitehaven 
called, he was faint and pale when he knocked at the 
door a young man very well dressed. We sate by the 
kitchen fire talking with him for two hours. He told us 
interesting stories of his life. His name was Isaac 
Chapel. He had been at sea since he was 15 years 
old. He was by trade a sail-maker. His last voyage 
was to the coast of Guinea. He had been on board a 
slave ship, the captain's name Maxwell, where one man 
had been killed, a boy put to lodge with the pigs and 
was half eaten, set to watch in the hot sun till he dropped 
down dead. He had been away in North America and 
had travelled thirty days among the Indians, where he 
had been well treated. He had twice swam from a 
King's ship in the night and escaped. He said he would 
rather be in hell than be pressed. He was now going 
to wait in England to appear against Captain Maxwell. 
" O he's a Rascal, Sir, he ought to be put in the papers ! ' J 
The poor man had not been in bed since Friday night. 
He left Liverpool at 2 o'clock on Saturday morning ; he 
had called at a farm house to beg victuals and had been 
refused. The woman said she would give him nothing. 
" Won't you ? Then I can't help it." He was exces- 
sively like my brother John. 

Tuesday. . . . William went up into the orchard, 


. . . and wrote a part of The Emigrant Mother. After 
dinner I read him to sleep. I read Spenser. . . . We 
walked to look at Rydale. The moon was a good 
height above the mountains. She seemed far distant In 
the sky. There were two stars beside her, that twinkled 
in and out, and seemed almost like butterflies in motion 
and lightness. They looked to be far nearer to us than 
the moon. 

Wednesday. William went up into the orchard and 
finished the poem. I went and sate with \V. and walked 
backwards and forwards in the orchard till dinner time. 
He read me his poem. I read to him, and my Beloved 
slept. A sweet evening as It had been a sweet day, and 
I walked quietly along the side of Rydale lake with quiet 
thoughts the hills and the lake were still the owls 
had not begun to hoot, and the little birds had given 
over singing. I looked before me and saw a red light 
upon Silver How as if coming out of the vale below, 

There was a light of most strange birth, 
A light that came out of the earth, 
And spread along the dark hill-side. 

Thus I was going on when I saw the shape of my 
Beloved in the road at a little distance, We turned 
back to see the light but it was fading almost gone. 
The owls hooted when we sate on the wall at the foot of 
White Moss ; the sky broke more and more, and we 
saw the moon now and then. John Gill passed us with 
his cart ; we sate on. When we came in sight of our 
own dear Grasmere, the vale looked fair and quiet in 
the moonshine, the Church was there and all the cottages. 
There were huge slow-travelling clouds in the sky, that 
threw large masses of shade upon some of the mountains. 
We walked backwards and forwards, between home and 
OllifPs, till I was tired. William kindled, and began to 
write the poem. We carried cloaks into the orchard, 
and sate a while there. I left him, and he nearly finished 
the poem. I was tired to death, and went to bed before 


him. He came down to me, and read the poem to me 
in bed. A sailor begged here to-day, going- to Glasgow. 
He spoke cheerfully in a sweet tone. 

Thursday. Rydale vale was full of life and motion. 
The wind blew briskly, and the lake was covered all 
over with bright silver waves, that were there each the 
twinkling of an eye, then others rose up and took their 
place as fast as they went away. The rocks glittered in 
the sunshine. The crows and the ravens were busy, 
and the thrushes and little birds sang. I went through 
the fields, and sate for an hour afraid to pass a cow. 
The cow looked at me, and I looked at the cow, and 
whenever I stirred the cow gave over eating. ... A 
parcel came in from Birmingham, with Lamb's play for 
us, and for C. ... As we came along Ambleside vale 
in the twilight, it was a grave evening. There was 
something in the air that compelled me to various 
thoughts the hills were large, closed in by the sky. . . . 
Night was come on, and the moon was overcast. But, 
as I climbed the moss, the moon came out from behind 
a mountain mass of black clouds. O, the unutterable 
darkness of the sky, and the earth below the moon, and 
the glorious brightness of the moon itself! There was 
a vivid sparkling streak of light at this end of Rydale 
water, but the rest was very dark, and Loughrigg Fell 
and Silver How were white and bright, as if they were 
covered with hoar frost. The moon retired again, and 
appeared and disappeared several times before I reached 
home. Once there was no moonlight to be seen but 
upon the island-house and the promontory of the island 
where it stands. " That needs must be a holy place," 
etc. etc. I had many very exquisite feelings, and when 
I saw this lowly Building in the waters, among the dark 
and lofty hills, with that bright, soft light upon it, it 
made me more than half a poet. I was tired when I 
reached home, and could not sit down to reading. I 
tried to write verses, but alas! I gave up, expecting 
William, and went soon to bed. 


Friday. A very rainy morning. I went up into the 
lane to collect a few green mosses to make the chimney 
gay against my darling's return. Poor C., I did not 
wish for, or expect him, it rained so. ... Coleridge 
came in. His eyes were a little swollen with the wind. 
I was much affected by the sight of him, he seemed half- 
stupefied. William came in soon after. Coleridge went 
to bed late, and William and I sate up till four o'clock. 
A letter from Sara sent by Mary. They disputed about 
Ben Jonson. My spirits were agitated very much. 

Saturday. . . . When I awoke the whole vale was 
covered with snow. William and Coleridge walked. . . . 
We had a little talk about going abroad. After tea 
William read Tke Pedlar. Talked about various things 
christening the children, etc. etc. Went to bed at 
12 o'clock. 

Sunday. Coleridge and William lay long in bed. 
We sent up to George Mackareth's for the horse to go to 
Keswick, but we could not have it Went with C. to 
Berwick's where he left us. William very unwell. We 
had a sweet and tender conversation. I wrote to Mary 
and Sara. 

Monday. A rainy day. William very poorly. 2 
letters from Sara, and one from poor Annette. Wrote 
to my brother Richard. We talked a good deal about 
C. and other interesting things. We resolved to see 
Annette, and that Win. should go to Mary. Wm. wrote 
to Coleridge not to expect us till Thursday or Friday. 

Tuesday. A mild morning. William worked at The 
Cuckoo poem. I sewed beside him. ... I read German, 
and, at the closing-in of day, went to sit in the orchard. 
William came to me, and walked backwards and forwards. 
We talked about C. Wm. repeated the poem to me. 
I left him there, and in 20 minutes he came in, rather 
tired with attempting to write. He is now reading Ben 
Jonson. I am going to read German. It is about 10 
o'clock, a quiet night. The fire flickers, and the watch 
ticks. I hear nothing save the breathing of my Beloved 


as he now and then pushes his book forward, and turns 
over a leaf, . . . 

Wednesday. It was a beautiful spring morning, 
warm, and quiet with mists. We found a letter from 
M. H. I made a vow that we would not leave this 
country for G. Hill. 1 . . . William altered The Butterfly 
as we came from Rydale. . . . 

Thursday. ... No letter from Coleridge. 

Friday, . . . William wrote to Annette, then worked 

at The Cuckoo. . . . After dinner I sate 2 hours in the 
orchard. William and I walked together after tea, to 
the top of White Moss. I left Wm. and while he was 
absent I wrote out poems. I grew alarmed, and went 
to seek him. I met him at Mr. OllifFs. He has been 
trying, without success, to alter a passage his Silver 
How poem. He had written a conclusion just before he 
went out While I was getting into bed, he wrote The 

Saturday. A divine morning. At breakfast William 
wrote part of an ode. . . . We sate all day in the 

Sunday. We went to Keswick. Arrived wet to the 
skin. . . . 

Monday. Wm. and C. went to Armathwaite. 

Tuesday r , $oth March. We went to Cal vert's. 

Wednesday, 31^ March. ... We walked to 
Portinscale, lay upon the turf, and looked into the Vale 
of Newlands; up to Borrowdale, and down to Kes- 
wick a soft Venetian view. Calvert and Wilkinsons 
dined with us. I walked with Mrs. W. to the Quaker's 
meeting, met Wm., and we walked in the field to- 

Ttutrsday, 1st April. Mrs. C. 3 Wm. and I went to 
the How. We came home by Portinscale. 

Friday^ 2nd, Wm. and I sate all the morning in 
the field. 

1 Gallow Hill, Yorkshire. ED. 


Saturday^ yd. Wm. went on to Skiddaw with C. 
We dined at Calvert's. . . . 

Sunday, 42^. We drove by gig to Water End. I 
walked down to Coleridge's. Mrs. Calvert came to 
Greta Bank to tea. William walked down with Mrs. 
Calvert, and repeated his verses to them. , . . 

Monday r , %th. We came to Eusemere. Coleridge 
walked with us to Threlkeld. . . . 

Monday, I2///. . . . The ground covered with 
snow. Walked to T. Wilkinson's and sent for letters. 
The woman brought me one from William and Mary. 
It was a sharp, windy night. Thomas Wilkinson came 
with me to Barton, and questioned me like a catechiser 
all the way. Every question was like the snapping of a 
little thread about my heart. I was so full of thought 
of my half-read letter and other things. I was glad 
when he left me. Then I had time to look at the moon 
while I was thinking my own thoughts. The moon 
travelled through the clouds, tinging them yellow as she 
passed along, with two stars near her, one larger than 
the other. These stars grew and diminished as they 
passed from, or went into, the clouds. At this time 
William, as I found the next day, was riding by himself 
between Middleham and Barnard Castle. . . . 

Tuesday f , i^tk April. Mrs. C. waked me from 
sleep with a letter from Coleridge. . , . I walked along 
the lake side. The air was become still, the lake was of 
a bright slate colour, the hills darkening. The bays 
shot into the low fading shores. Sheep resting. All 
things quiet. When I returned William was come, 
The surprise shot through me. . . . 

Thursday ', \$th. It was a threatening, misty morn- 
ing, but mild. We set off after dinner from Eusemere. 
Mrs. Clarkson went a short way with us, but Burned 
back. The wind was furious, and we thought we must 
have returned. We first rested in the large boathouse. 


then under a furze bush opposite Mr. Clarkson's. Saw 
the plough going in the field. The wind seized our 
breath. The lake was rough. There was a boat by 
itself floating in the middle of the bay below Water 
Hillock. We rested again in the Water Hillock Lane. 
The hawthorns are black and green, the birches here 
and there greenish, but there is yet more of purple to 
be seen on the twigs. We got over into a field to avoid 
some cows people working. A few primroses by the 
roadside woodsorrel flower, the anemone, scentless 
violets, strawberries, and that starry, yellow flower 
which Mrs. C. calls pile wort. When we were in the 
woods beyond Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils 
close to the water-side. We fancied that the sea had 
floated the seeds ashore, and that the little colony had 
so sprung up. But as we went along there were more 
and yet more ; and at last, under the boughs of the 
trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along 
the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. 
I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among 
the mossy stones about and above them ; some rested 
their heads upon these stones, as on a pillow, for weari- 
ness ; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and 
seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew 
upon them over the lake ; they looked so gay, ever 
glancing, ever changing. This wind blew directly over 
the lake to them. There was here and there a little 
knot, and a few stragglers higher up ; but they were so 
few as not to disturb the simplicity, unity, and life of 
that one busy highway. We rested again and again. 
The bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at 
different distances, and in the middle of the water, like 
the sea. ... All was cheerless and gloomy, so we faced 
the storm. At Dobson's I was veiy kindly treated by a 
young woman. The landlady looked sour, but it is her 
way. . . . William was sitting by a good fire when I 
came downstairs. He soon made his way to the library, 
piled up in a corner of the window. He brought out a 


volume of Enfield's Speaker^ another miscellany, and an 
odd volume of Congreve's plays. We had a glass of 
warm rum and water. We enjoyed ourselves, and 
wished for Mary. It rained and blew, when we went 
to bed. 

Friday^ i6/// April (Good Friday}. When I undrew 
curtains in the morning, I was much affected by the 
beauty of the prospect, and the change. The sun shone, 
the wind had passed away, the hills looked cheerful, the 
river was very bright as it flowed into the lake. The 
church rises up behind a little knot of rocks, the steeple 
not so high as an ordinary three-story house. Trees in 
a row in the garden under the wall. The valley is at 
first broken by little woody knolls that make retiring 
places, fairy valleys in the vale, the river winds along 
under these hills, travelling, not in a bustle but not 
slowly, to the lake. We saw a fisherman in the flat 
meadow on the other side of the water. He came 
towards us, and threw his line over the two-arched 
bridge. It is a bridge of a heavy construction, almost 
bending inwards in the middle, but it is grey, and there 
is a look of ancientry in the architecture of it that pleased 
me. As we go on the vale opens out more into one 
vale, with somewhat of a cradle bed. Cottages, with 
groups of trees, on the side of the hills. We passed a 
pair of twin children, two years old. Sate on the next 
bridge which we crossed a single arch. We rested 
again upon the turf, and looked at the same bridge. 
We observed arches in the water, occasioned by the 
large stones sending it down in two streams. A sheep 
came plunging through the river, stumbled up the bank, 
and passed close to us. It had been frightened by an 
insignificant little dog on the other side. Its fleece 
dropped a glittering shower under its belly. Primroses 
by the road-side, pile wort that shone like stars of gold 
in the sun, violets, strawberries, retired and half-buried 
among the grass. When we came to the foot of 
Brothers Water, I left William sitting on the bridge. 


and went along the path on the right side of the lake 
through the wood. I was delighted with what I saw. 
The water under the boughs of the bare old trees, the 
simplicity of the mountains, and the exquisite beauty of 
the path. There was one grey cottage. I repeated 
The Glow-worm, as I walked along. I hung over the 
gate, and thought I could have stayed for ever. When 
I returned, I found William writing a poem descriptive 
of the sights and sounds we saw and heard. 1 There 
was the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, 
lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be 
seen on them ; behind us, a flat pasture with forty-two 
cattle feeding; to our Ieft 3 the road leading to the 
hamlet No smoke there, the sun shone on the bare 
roofs. The people were at work ploughing, harrowing, 
and sowing ; . . . a dog barking now and then, cocks 
crowing, birds twittering, the snow in patches at the top 
of the highest hills, yellow palms, purple and green twigs 
on the birches, ashes with their glittering stems quite 
bare. The hawthorn a bright green, with black stems 
under the oak. The moss of the oak glossy. We went 
on. Passed two sisters at work (they first passed us), 
one with two pitchforks in her hand, the other had a 
spade. We had come to talk with them. They laughed 
long after we were gone, perhaps half in wantonness, 
half boldness. William finished his poem. 1 Before we 
got to the foot of Kirkstone, there were hundreds of 
cattle in the vale. There we ate our dinner. The walk 
up Kirkstone was very interesting. The becks among 
the rocks were all alive. William showed me the little 
mossy streamlet which he had before loved when he saw 
its bright green track in the snow. The view above 
Ambleside very beautiful. There we sate and looked 
down on the green vale. We watched the crows at a 
little distance from us become white as silver as they 
flew in the sunshine, and when they went still further, 

1 See "The Cock is crowing," etc., vol. ii. p. 293. ED. 


they looked like shapes of water passing over the green 
fields. The whitening of Ambleside church is a great 
deduction from the beauty of it, seen from this point. 
We called at the Luffs, the Roddingtons there. Did 
not go in, and went round by the fields. I pulled off 
my stockings, intending to wade the beck, but I was 
obliged to put them on, and we climbed over the wall 
at the bridge. The post passed us. No letters. Rydale 
Lake was in its own evening brightness : the Island, and 
Points distinct Jane Ashburner came up to us when 
we were sitting upon the wall. . . . The garden looked 
pretty in the half-moonlight, half-daylight, as we went 
up the vale. . . . 

Saturday , i*jth. A mild warm rain. We sate in 
the garden all the morning. William dug a little. I 
transplanted a honey-suckle. The lake*was stilL The 
sheep on the island, reflected in the water, like the grey- 
deer we saw in Gowbarrow Park. We walked after tea 
by moonlight. I had been in bed in the afternoon, and 
William had slept in his chair. We walked towards 
Rydale backwards and forwards below Mr. OllifPs. 
The village was beautiful in the moonlight. Helm Crag 
we observed very distinct. The dead hedge round 
Benson's field bound together at the top by an inter- 
lacing of ash sticks, which made a chain of silver when 
we faced the moon. A letter from C. and also one from 
S. H. I saw a robin chasing a scarlet butterfly this 

Sunday^ i%ih. Again a mild grey morning, with 
rising vapours. We sate in the orchard. William wrote 
the poem on The Robin and the Butterfly}- . . . William 
met me at Rydale . . . with the conclusion of the poem 
of the Robin. I read it to him in bed. We left out 
some lines. 

Tuesday ', 20 >th. A beautiful morning. The sun 
1 See vol. if. p f 295. ED. 


shone. William wrote a conclusion to the poem of the 
Butterfly : 

I've watched you now a full half-hour. 1 

I was quite out of spirits, and went into the orchard. 
When I came in, he had finished the poem. It was a 
beautiful afternoon. The sun shone upon the level 
fields, and they grew greener beneath the eye. Houses, 
village, all cheerful people at work. We sate in the 
orchard and repeated The Glow-worm and other poems. 
Just when William came to a well or trough, which there 
is in Lord Darlington's park, he began to write that poem 
of The Glow-worm ; . . . interrupted in going through 
the town of Staindrop, finished it about 2 miles and a 
half beyond Staindrop. He did not feel the jogging of 
the horse while he was writing ; but, when he had done, 
he felt the effect of it, and his fingers were cold with his 
gloves. His horse fell with him on the other side of St. 
Helens, Auckland. So much for The Glow-worm. It 
was written coming from Middleham on Monday, I2th 
April 1802. ... On Tuesday 2oth, when we were 
sitting after tea, Coleridge came to the door. I startled 
him with my voice. C. came up fatigued, but I after- 
wards found he looked well. William was not well, and 
I was in low spirits. 

Wednesday r , *2.\st. William and I sauntered a little 
in the garden. Coleridge came to us, and repeated the 
verses he wrote to Sara. I was affected with them, and 
in miserable spirits. 2 The sunshine, the green fields, 
and the fair sky made me sadder ; even the little happy, 
sporting lambs seemed but sorrowful to me. The pile 
wort spread out on the grass a thousand shiny stars. 
The primroses were there, and the remains of a few 

1 Published as a separate poem. ED. 

2 Can these "Verses" have been the first draft of Dejection, 
an Ode, in. its earliest and afterwards abandoned form? It is 
said to have been written on snd April 1802. ED. 


daffodils. The well, which we cleaned out last night, 
is still but a little muddy pond, though full of water. . . . 
Read Ferguson's life and a poem or two. . . . 

Thursday, 2.2nd. A fine mild morning. \Ve walked 
into Easedale. The sun shone. Coleridge talked of 
his plan of sowing the laburnum in the woods. The 
waters were high, for there had been a great quantity 
of rain in the night. I was tired and sate under the 
shade of a holly tree that grows upon a rock, and looked 
down the stream. I then went to the single holly behind 
that single rock in the field, and sate upon the grass till 
they came from the waterfall. I saw them there, and 
heard William flinging stones into the river, whose roar- 
ing was loud even where I was. When they returned, 
William was repeating the poem : 

I have thoughts that are fed by the sun. 

It had been called to his rnind by the dying away of the 
stunning of the waterfall ' when he got behind a 
stone. . . . 

Friday^ ^rd April 1802. It being a beautiful 
morning we set off at 1 1 o'clock, intending to stay out 
of doors all the morning. We went towards Rydale, 
and before we got to Tom Dawson's we determined to 
go under Nab Scar. Thither we went The sun shone, 
and we were lazy. Coleridge pitched upon several places 
to sit down upon, but we could not be all of one mind 
respecting sun and shade, so we pushed on to the foot 
of the Scar. It was very grand when we looked up, 
very stony, here and there a budding tree. William 
observed that the umbrella yew tree, that breasts the 
wind, had lost its character as a tree, and had become 
something like to solid wood, Coleridge and I pushed 
on before. We left William sitting on the stones, feast- 
ing with silence ; and Coleridge and I sat down upon 
a rocky seat a couch it might be under the bower of 
William's eglantine, Andrew's Broom. He was below 
us, and we could see him. He came to us, and repeated 


his poems l while we sate beside him upon the ground. 
He had made himself a seat in the crumbling ground. 
Afterwards we lingered long, looking into the vales ; 
Ambleside vale, with the copses, the village under the 
hill, and the green fields ; Rydale, with a lake all alive 
and glittering, yet but little stirred by breezes ; and our 
dear Grasmere, making a little round lake of nature's 
own, with never a house, never a green field, but the 
copses and the bare hills enclosing it, and the river 
flowing out of it. Above rose the Coniston Fells, in 
their own shape and colour not man's hills, but all for 
themselves, the sky and the clouds, and a few wild 
creatures. C. went to search for something new. We 
saw him climbing up towards a rock. He called us, and 
we found him in a bower the sweetest that was ever 
seen. The rock on one side is very high, and all covered 
with ivy, which hung loosely about, and bore bunches 
of brown berries. On the other side it was higher than 
my head. We looked down on the Ambleside vale, that 
seemed to wind away from us, the village lying under 
the hill. The fir-tree island was reflected beautifully. 
About this bower there is mountain-ash, common-ash, 
yew-tree, ivy, holly, hawthorn, grasses, and flowers, and 
a carpet of moss. Above, at the top of the rock, there 
is another spot. It is scarce a bower, a little parlour 
only, not enclosed by walls, but shaped out for a resting- 
place by the rocks, and the ground rising about it. It 
had a sweet moss carpet. We resolved to go and plant 
flowers in both these places to-morrow. We wished for 
Mary and Sara. Dined late. After dinner Wm. and 
I worked in the garden. C. received a letter from Sara. 
Saturday ', 24^. A very wet day. William called 
me out to see a waterfall behind the barberry tree. We 
walked in the evening to Rydale. Coleridge and I 
lingered behind. C. stopped up the little runnel by the 

1 See The Waterfall and the Eglantine, and The Oak and th& 
Broom, vol. ii. pp. 170, 174.- ED. 


road-side to make a lake. We all stood to look at 
Glow-worm Rock a primrose that grew there, and just 
looked out on the road from its own sheltered bower. 1 
The clouds moved, as William observed, in one regular 
body like a multitude in motion a sky all clouds over, 
not one cloud. 2 On our return it broke a little out, and 
we saw here and there a star. One appeared but for 
a moment in a pale blue sky. 

Sunday^ ^th April After breakfast we set off with 
Coleridge towards Keswick. Wilkinson overtook us 
near the Potter's, and interrupted our discourse. C. 
got into a gig with Mr. Beck, and drove away from us. 
A shower came on, but it was soon over. We spent the 
morning in the orchard reading the Epitkalamium of 
Spenser ; walked backwards and forwards. . . . 

Monday^ *2.bth. I copied Wm.'s poems for Cole- 
ridge. . . . 

Tuesday ', -2.*]th. A fine morning. Mrs. Luff called. 
I walked with her to the boat-house. William met me 
at the top of the hill with his fishing-rod in his hand. 
I turned with him, and we sate on the hill looking to 
Rydaie. I left him, intending to join him, but he came 
home, and said his loins would not stand the pulling he 
had had. We sate in the orchard. In the evening W. 
began to write The Tinker; we had a letter and verses 
from Coleridge. 

Wednesday ', z8f/i April. ... I copied The Prioresses 
Tale. William was in the orchard^ I went to him ; he 
worked away at his poem. ... I happened to say that 
when I was a child I would not have pulled a strawberry 
blossom. I left him, and wrote out The Manciple's Tale. 
At dinner time he came in with the poem of Children 
gathering Flowers? but it was not quite finished, and 
it kept him long off his dinner. It is now done. He 

1 See The Primrose of the Rock } vol. vii. p. 274. ED. 
2 Compare To the Clouds, vol. viii. p. 142. ED. 

3 See Foresight, vol. ii. p. 298. ED. 


is working at The Tinker. He promised me he would 
get his tea, and do no more, but I have got mine an hour 
and a quarter, and he has scarcely begun his. We have 
let the bright sun go down without walking. Now a 
heavy shower comes on, and I guess we shall not walk 
at all. I wrote a few lines to Coleridge. Then we 
walked backwards and forwards between our house and 
OllifFs. We called upon T. Hutchinson, and Bell 
Addisoru William left me sitting on a stone. When we 
came in we corrected the Chaucers, but I could not finish 
them to-night. 

Thursday >, <2th. . . . After I had written down The 
Tinker^ which William finished this morning, Luff called. 
He was very lame, limped into the kitchen. He came 
on a little pony. We then went to John's Grove, sate 
a while at first ; afterwards William lay, and I lay, in 
the trench under the fence he with his eyes shut, and 
listening to the waterfalls and the birds. There was no 
one waterfall above another it was a sound of waters 
in the air the voice of the air. William heard me 
breathing, and rustling now and then, but we both lay 
still, and unseen by one another. He thought that it 
would be so sweet thus to lie in the grave, to hear the 
peaceful sounds of the earth, and just to know that our 
dear friends were near. The lake was still ; there was 
a boat out Silver How reflected with delicate purple 
and yellowish hues, as I have seen spar ; lambs on the 
island, and running races together by the half-dozen, in 
the round field near us. The copses greenish, hawthorns 
green, . . . cottages smoking. As I lay down on the 
grass, I observed the glittering silver line on the ridge 
of the backs of the sheep, owing to their situation 
respecting the sun, which made them look beautiful, but 
with something of strangeness, like animals of another 
kind, as if belonging to a more splendid world. ... I 
got mullins and pansies. . . , 

Friday, April 302^. We came into the orchard 
directly after breakfast, and sate there. The lake was 


calm, the day cloudy. . . . Two fishermen by the lake side. 
William began to write the poem of The Celandine. 1 . . . 
Walked backwards and forwards with William he re- 
peated his poem to me, then he got to work again and 
would not give over. He had not finished his dinner till 
5 o'clock. After dinner we took up the fur gown into the 
Rollins above. We found a sweet seat, and thither we will 
often go. We spread the gown, put on each a cloak, and 
there we lay. William fell asleep, he had a bad headache 
owing to his having been disturbed the night before, with 
reading C.'s letter. I did not sleep, but lay with half- 
shut eyes looking at the prospect as on a vision almost, 
I w r as so resigned 2 to it. Loughrigg Fell was the most 
distant hill, then came the lake, slipping in between the 
copses. Above the copse, the round swelling field ; 
nearer to me, a wild intermixture of rocks, trees, and 
patches of grassy ground. When we turned the corner 
of our little shelter, we saw the church and the whole 
vale. It is a blessed place. The birds were about us 
on all sides. Skobbies, robins, bull-finches, and crows, 
now and then flew over our heads, as we were warned 
by the sound of the beating of the air above. We stayed 
till the light of day was going, and the little birds had 
begun to settle their singing. But there was a thrush 
not far ofF, that seemed to sing louder and clearer than 
the thrushes had sung when it was quite day. We came 
in at 8 o'clock, got tea, wrote to Coleridge, and I wrote 
to Mrs. Clarkson part of a letter. We went to bed at 
20 minutes past n, with prayers that William might 
sleep well. 

Saturday ', May isf. Rose not till half-past 8, a 
heavenly morning. As soon as breakfast was over, we 
went into the garden, and sowed the scarlet beans about 
the house. It was a clear sky. 

1 See vol. ii. p. 300. ED. 

2 " Resigned " is curiously used in the Lake District. A woman 
there once told me that Mr. Ruskin was "very much resigned to 
his own company." ED. 


I sowed the flowers, William helped me. We then 
went and sate in the orchard till dinner time. It was 
very hot. William wrote The Celandine?- We planned 
a shed, for the sun was too much for us. After dinner, 
we went again to our old resting-place in the Rollins 
under the rock. We first lay under the Holly, where we 
saw nothing but the holly tree, and a budding elm tree 
mossed, with the sky above our heads. But that holly 
tree had a beauty about it more than its own, knowing 
as we did when we arose. When the sun had got low 
enough, we went to the Rock Shade. Oh, the over- 
whelming beauty of the vale below, greener than green ! 
Two ravens flew high, high in the sky, and the sun 
shone upon their bellies and their wings, long after there 
was none of his light to be seen but a little space on the 
top of Loughrigg Fell, Heard the cuckoo to-day, this 
first of May. We went down to tea at 8 o'clock, and 
returned after tea. The landscape was fading : sheep 
and lambs quiet among the rocks. We walked towards 
King's, and backwards and forwards. The sky was 
perfectly cloudless. N.B. it is often so. Three solitary 
stars in the middle of the blue vault, one or two on the 
points of the high hills. 

Tuesday^ tfh May. Though William went to bed 
nervous, and jaded in the extreme, he rose refreshed. I 
wrote out The Leech Gatherer for him, which he had 
begun the night before, and of which he wrote several 
stanzas in bed this morning. [They started to walk to 
Wytheburn.] It was very hot. . . . We rested several 
times by the way, read, and repeated The Leech 
Gatherer. . . , We saw Coleridge on the Wytheburn 
side of the water ; he crossed the beck to us. Mr. 
Simpson was fishing there. William and I ate luncheon, 
and then went on towards the waterfall. It is a glorious 

1 Doubtless the second of the two poems, beginning thus 
Pleasures newly found are sweet. 



wild solitude under that lofty purple crag. It stood 
upright by itself; its own self, and its shadow below, 
one mass ; all else was sunshine. \Ve went on further. 
A bird at the top of the crag was flying round and round, 
and looked in thinness and transparency, shape and 
motion like a moth. . . . We climbed the hill, but 
looked in vain for a shade, except at the foot of the 
great waterfall. We came down, and rested upon a 
moss-covered rock rising out of the bed of the river. 
There we lay, ate our dinner, and stayed there till 
about four o'clock or later. William and Coleridge re- 
peated and read verses. I drank a little brandy and 
water, and was in heaven. The stag's horn is very 
beautiful and fresh, springing upon the fells ; mountain 
ashes, green. We drank tea at a farm house. . . . We 
parted from Coleridge at Sara's crag, after having looked 
for the letters which C. carved in the morning. I missed 
them all. William deepened the X with C.'s pen-knive. 
We sate afterwards on the wall, seeing the sun go down, 
and the reflections in the still water. C. looked well, 
and parted from us cheerfully, hopping upon the side 
stones. On the Raise we met a woman with two little 
girls, one in her arms, the other, about four years old, 
walking by her side, a pretty little thing, but half-starved. 
. . . Young as she was, she walked carefully with them. 
Alas, too young for such cares and such travels. The 
mother, when we accosted her, told us how her husband 
had left her, and gone off with another woman, and how 
she "pursued" them. Then her fury kindled, and her 
eyes rolled about. She changed again to tears. She 
was a Cockermouth woman, thirty years of age a child 
at Cockermouth when I was. I was moved, and gave 
her a shilling. . . . We had the crescent moon with the 
" auld moon in her arms." We rested often, always upon 
the bridges. Reached home at about ten o'clock. . . . 
We went soon to bed. I repeated verses to William 
while he was in bed ; he was soothed, and I left him. 
" This is the spot " over and over again. 


Wednesday,, $th May. A very fine morning, rather 
cooler than yesterday. We planted three-fourths of the 
bower. I made bread. We sate In the orchard. The 
thrush sang all day, as he always sings. I wrote to the 
Hutchinsons, and to Coleridge. Packed off Thalaba. 
William had kept off work till near bed-time, when we 
returned from our walk Then he began again, _ and 
went to bed very nervous. We walked in the twilight, 
and walked till night came on. The moon had the old 
moon in her arms, but not so plain to be seen as the night 
before. When we went to bed it was a boat without the 
circle. I read The Lover's Complaint to William in bed, 
and left him composed. 

Thursday, 6tk May. A sweet morning. We have 
put the finishing stroke to our bower, and here we are 
sitting in the orchard. It is one o'clock. We are 
sitting upon a seat 'under the wall, which I found my 
brother building up, when I came to him. ... He had 
intended that it should have been done before I came. 
It is a nice, cool, shady spot. The small birds _ are 
singing, lambs bleating, cuckoos calling, the thrush sings 
by fits, Thomas Ashburner's axe is going quietly (with- 
out passion) in the orchard, hens are cackling, flies 
humming, the women talking together at their doors, 
plum and pear trees are in blossom apple trees greenish 
the opposite woods green, the crows are cawing, we 
have heard ravens, the ash trees are in blossom, birds 
flying all about us, the stitchwort is coming out, there is 
one budding lychnis, the primroses are passing their 
prime, celandine, violets, and wood sorrel for ever more, 
little geraniums and pansies on the wall. We walked in 
the evening to Tail End, to inquire about hurdles for the 
orchard shed. . . . When we came In we found a 
magazine, and review, and a letter from Coleridge, verses 
to Hartley, and Sara H. We read the review, etc. The 
moon was a perfect boat, a silver boat, when we were 
out in the evening. The birch tree is all over green in 
small leaf, more light and elegant than when it is full 


out. It bent to the breezes, as if for the love of its 
own delightful motions. Sloe-thorns and hawthorns in 
the hedges. 

Friday, ^th May. William had slept uncommonly 
well, so, feeling himself strong, he fell to work at The 
Leech GatJierer; he wrote hard at it till dinner time, then 
he gave over, tired to death he had finished the poem. 
I was making Derwent's frocks. After dinner we sate in 
the orchard. It was a thick, hazy, dull air. The thrush 
sang almost continually ; the little birds were more 
than usually busy with their voices. The sparrows are 
now fall fledged. The nest is so full that they lie upon 
one another; they sit quietly in their nest with closed 
mouths. I walked to Rydale after tea, which we drank 
by the kitchen fire. The evening very dull ; a terrible 
kind of threatening brightness at sunset above Easedale. 
The sloe-thorn beautiful in the hedges, and in the wild spots 
higher up among the hawthorns. No letters. William 
met me. He had been digging in my absence, and 
cleaning the well. We walked up beyond Lewthwaites. 
A very dull sky ; coolish ; crescent moon now and then, 
I had a letter brought me from Mrs. Clarkson while we 
were walking in the orchard. I observed the sorrel 
leaves opening at about nine o'clock. William went to 
bed tired with thinking about a poem, 

Saturday Morning, St% May. We sowed the scarlet 
beans in the orchard, and read Henry V. there. William 
lay on his back on the seat, and wept. . . . After dinner 
William added one to the orchard steps. 

Sunday Morning^ gtk May. The air considerably 
colder to-day, but the sun shone all day. William worked 
at The Leech Gatherer almost incessantly from morning 
till tea-time. I copied The Leech Gatherer and other 
poems for Coleridge. I was oppressed and sick at heart, 
for he wearied himself to death. After tea he wrote two 
stanzas in the manner of Thomson's Castle of Indolence, 
and was tired out. Bad news of Coleridge. 

Monday, lotA May. A fine clear morning, but 


coldish. William is still at work, though it is past ten 
o'clock ; he will be tired out, I am sure. My heart fails 
in me. He worked a little at odd things, but after dinner 
he gave over. An affecting letter from Mary H. We 
sate in the orchard before dinner. ... I wrote to Mary 
H. . . . I wrote to Coleridge, sent off reviews and 
poems. Went to bed at twelve o'clock. William did 
not sleep till three o'clock. 

Tuesday ', nth May. A cool air. William finished 
the stanzas about C. and himself. He did not go out 
to-day. Miss Simpson came in to tea, which was lucky 
enough, for it interrupted his labours. I walked with 
her to Rydale. The evening cool ; the moon only now 
and then to be seen j the lake purple as we went ; 
primroses still in abundance. William did not meet me. 
He completely finished his poem, I finished Derwent's 
frocks. We went to bed at twelve o'clock. . . . 

Wednesday ', nth May. A sunshiny, but coldish 
morning. We walked into Easedale. . . . We brought 
home heckberry blossom, crab blossom, the anemone 
nemorosa, marsh marigold, speedwell, that beautiful 
blue one, the colour of the blue-stone or glass used in 
jewellery with the beautiful pearl-like chives. Anemones 
are in abundance, and still the dear dear primroses, violets 
in beds, pansies in abundance, and the little celandine. 
I pulled a bunch of the taller celandine. Butterflies of 
all colours. I often see some small ones of a pale 
purple lilac, or emperor's eye colour, something of the 
colour of that large geranium which grows by the lake 
side. . . . William pulled ivy with beautiful berries. I 
put it over the chimney-piece. Sate in the orchard the 
hour before dinner, coldish. ... In the evening we were 
sitting at the table writing, when we were roused by 
Coleridge's voice below. He had walked ; looked palish, 
but was not much tired. We sate up till one o'clock, all 
together, then William went to bed, and I sate with C. 
in the sitting-room (where he slept) till a quarter past 
two o'clock. Wrote to M. H. 


Thursday, i$tk May. The day was very cold, with 
snow showers. Coleridge had intended going in the 
morning to Keswick, but the cold and showers hindered 
him. We went with him after tea as far as the planta- 
tions by the roadside descending to Wythebum. He 
did not look well when we parted from him. . . 

Friday, 142$ May. A very cold morning hail and 
snow showers all day. We went to Brothers wood, 
intending to get plants, and to go along the shore of the 
lake to the foot. We did go a part of the way, but there 
was no pleasure in stepping along that difficult sauntering 
road in this jmgenia^ weather. We turned again, and 
walked Backwards and forwards in Brothers wood. 
William tired himself with seeking an epithet for the 
cuckoo. I sate a while upon my last summer seat, the 
mossy stone. William's, unoccupied, beside me, and the 
space between, where Coleridge has so often lain. The 
oak trees are just putting forth yellow knots of leaves. 
The ashes with their flowers passing away, and leaves 
coming out ; the blue hyacinth is not quite full blown ; 
gowans are coming out ; marsh marigolds in full glory ; 
the little star plant, a star without a flower. We took 
home a great load of gowans, and planted them about 
the orchard. After dinner, I worked bread, then came 
and mended stockings beside William; he fell asleep. 
After tea I walked to Rydale for letters. It was a strange 
night. The hills were covered over with a slight cover- 
ing of hail or snow, just so as to give them a hoary 
winter look with the black rocks. The woods looked 
miserable, the coppices green as grass, which looked 
quite unnatural, and they seemed half shrivelled up, as 
if they shrank from the air. O, thought 1 1 what a 
beautiful thing God has made winter to be, by stripping 
the trees,- and letting us see their shapes and forms. 
What a freedom does it seem to give to the storms! 
There were several new flowers out, but I had no pleasure 
in looking at them. I walked as fast as I could back 
again with my letter from S. H. . . . Met William at 


the top of White Moss. . . . Near ten when we came in. 
William and Molly had dug the ground and planted 
potatoes in my absence. We wrote to Coleridge ; sent 
off bread and frocks to the C.'s. Went to bed at half- 
past eleven. William very nervous. After he was in 
bed, haunted with altering The Rainbow* 

Saturday ', i^th. A very cold and cheerless morn- 
ing. I sate mending stockings all the morning. I read 
in Shakespeare. William lay very late because he slept 
ill last night. It snowed this morning just like Christmas. 
We had a melancholy letter from Coleridge at bedtime. 
It distressed me very much, and I resolved upon going to 
Keswick the next day. 

(The following is written on the blotting-paper 
opposite this date : ) 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Dorothy Wordsworth. William Wordsworth. 

Mary Hutchinson. Sara Hutchinson. 

William. Coleridge. Mary. 

Dorothy. Sara. 

1 6th May 

John Wordsworth. 

Sunday, i6th. William was at work all the morning. 
I did not go to Keswick. A sunny, cold, frosty day. 
A snowstorm at night. We were a good while in the 
orchard in the morning. 

Monday, 17 'th May. William was not well, he 
went with me to Wytheburn water, and left me in a 
post-chaise. Hail showers, snow, and cold attacked me. 
The people were graving peats under Nadel Fell. A 
lark and thrush singing near Coleridge's house. Ban- 
crofts there. A letter from M. H. 

Tuesday, i8//z May. Terribly cold, Coleridge not 
well. Froude called, Wilkinsons called, C. and I 


walked in the evening in the garden. Warmer in the 
evening. Wrote to M. and S. 

Wednesday, igth May, A grey morning not quite 
so cold. C. and I set off at half-past nine o'clock. 
Met William near the six-mile stone. We sate down 
by the road-side, and then went to Wytheburn water. 
Longed to be at the island. Sate in the sun. We 
drank tea at John Stanley's. The evening cold and 
clear. A glorious light on Skiddaw. I was tired. 
Brought a cloak down from Mr. Simpson's. Packed 
up books for Coleridge, then got supper, and went 
to bed. 

Thursday^ -zotk May. A frosty, clear morning. I 
lay in bed late. William got to work. I was somewhat 
tired. We sate in the orchard sheltered all the morning. 
In the evening there was a fine rain. We received a 
letter from Coleridge telling us that he wished us not to 
go to Keswick. 

Friday, 2 1st May. A very warm gentle morning, a 
little rain. William wrote two sonnets on Buonaparte, 
after I had read Milton's sonnets to him. In the evening 
he went with Mr. Simpson with Borwick's boat to gather 
ling in Bainrigg's. I plashed about the well, was much 
heated, and I think I caught cold. 

Saturday^ 22nd May. A very hot morning. A hot 
wind, as if coming from a sand desert. We met 
Coleridge. He was sitting under Sara's rock. When 
we reached him he turned with us. We sate a long 
time under the wall of a sheep-fold. Had some interest- 
ing, melancholy talk, about his private affairs. We 
drank tea at a farmhouse. The woman was very kind. 
There was a woman with three children travelling from 
Workington to Manchester. The woman served them 
liberally. Afterwards she said that she never suffered 
any to go away without a trifle " sec as we have." The 
woman at whose house we drank tea the last time was 
rich and senseless she said " she never served any but 
their own poor." C. came home with us. We sate 



some time in the orchard. . . . Letters from S. and 
M. H. 

Sunday, I sat with C. in the orchard all the 
morning. . . . We walked in Bainrigg's after tea. Saw 
the juniper umbrella shaped. C. went to the Points, 1 
joined us on White Moss. 

Monday, 24?% May. A very hot morning. \Ve 
were ready to go off with Coleridge, but foolishly 
sauntered, and Miss Taylor and Miss Stanley called. 
William and Coleridge and I went afterwards to the top 
of the Raise. 

I had sent off a letter to Mary by C. I wrote again, 
and to C. 

Tuesday \ 252$. . . - Papers and short note from 
C. ; again no sleep for William. 

Friday, i%th. . . - William tired himself with 
hammering at a passage. 

We sate in the orchard. The sky cloudy, the 
air sweet and cool. The young bullfinches, in their 
party-coloured raiment, bustle about among the blossoms, 
and poise themselves like wire-dancers or tumblers, 
shaking the twigs and dashing off the blossoms. 2 There 
is yet one primrose in the orchard. The stitchwort is 
fading. The vetches are in abundance, blossoming and 
seeding. That pretty little wavy-looking dial-like yellow 
flower, the speedwell, and some others, whose names I 
do not yet know. The wild columbines are coming into 
beauty ; some of the gowans fading. In the garden we 
have lilies, and many other flowers. The scarlet beans 
are up in crowds. It is now between eight and nine 
o'clock. It has rained sweetly for two hours and a half ; 
the air is very mild. The heckberry blossoms are 

1 Mary Point and Sara Point; the "two heath-clad rocks" 
referred to in one of the "Poems on the Naming of Places." 

2 Compare The Green Linnet, vol. ii. p. 367. ED. 


dropping off fast, almost gone ; barberries are in beauty ; 
snowballs coming forward ; May roses blossoming. 

Saturday i zg//L . . . William finished his poem on 

going for Mary. I wrote it. out. I wrote to Mary H., 
having received a letter from her in the evening, A 
sweet day. We nailed up the honeysuckles, and hoed 
the scarlet beans 

Monday ', 3 !,$/ . . . We sat out all the day. . . . 
I wrote out the poem on " Our Departure," which he 
seemed to have finished. In the evening Miss Simpson 
brought us a letter from M. H., and a compliment- 
ary and critical letter to W. from John Wilson of 
Glasgow. 1 . . . 

Tuesday. A very sweet day, but a sad want of rain. 
We went Into the orchard after I had written to M. H. 
Then on to Mr. OllifPs intake. . . . The columbine was 
growing upon the rocks ; here and there a solitary plant, 
sheltered and shaded by the tufts and bowers of trees. 
It is a graceful slender creature, a female seeking 
retirement, and growing freest and most graceful where 
it is most alone. I observed that the more shaded 
plants were always the tallest. A short note and goose- 
berries from Coleridge. We walked upon the turf near 
John's Grove. It was a lovely night. The clouds of 
the western sky reflected a saffron light upon the upper 
end of the lake. All was still. We went to look at 
Rydale. There was an Alpine, fire-like red upon the 
tops of the mountains. This was gone when we came 
in view of the lake. But we saw the lake from a new 
and most beautiful point of view, between two little rocks, 
and behind a small ridge that had concealed it from us. 
This White Moss, a place made for all kinds of beautiful 
works of art and nature, woods and valleys, fairy 
valleys and fairy tarns, miniature mountains, alps plbove 
alps. ' ' . ^\?> 

1 Christopher North. ED. . "^ >',>;" 


Wednesday, 2nd June. In the morning we observed 
that the scarlet beans were drooping- in the leaves in 
great numbers, owing, we guess, to an insect. . . . 
Yesterday an old man called, a grey-headed man, above 
seventy years of age. He said he had been a soldier, 
that his wife and children had died in Jamaica. He 
had a beggar's wallet over his shoulders ; a coat of 
shreds and patches, altogether of a drab colour ; he was 
tall, and though his body was bent, he had the look of 
one used to have been upright. I talked a while, and 
then gave him a piece of cold bacon and some money. 
Said he, " You're a fine woman ! " I could not help 
smiling ; I suppose he meant, " You're a kind woman." 
Afterwards a woman called, travelling to Glasgow. 
After dinner we went into Frank's field, crawled up the 
little glen, and planned a seat ; . . . found a beautiful 
shell-like purple fungus in Frank's field. After tea we 
walked to Butterlip How, and backwards and forwards 
there. All the young oak tree leaves are dry as powder. 
A cold south wind, portending rain. . . . 

Thursday, ^rd June 1802. A very fine rain. I lay 
in my bed till ten o'clock. William much better than 
yesterday. We walked into Easedale. . . . The cuckoo 
sang, and we watched the little birds as we sate at the 
door of the cow-house. The oak copses are brown, as 
in autumn, with the late frosts. . . . We have been 
reading the life and some of the writings of poor Logan 
since dinner. There are many affecting lines and 
passages in his poem, e.g. 

And everlasting longings for the lost. 

. . . William is now sleeping with the window open, 
lying on the window seat. The thrush is singing. 
There are, I do believe, a thousand buds on the honey- 
suckle tree, all small and far from blowing, save one 
that is retired behind the twigs close to the wall, and 
as snug as a bird nest. John's rose tree is very beauti- 
ful, blended with the honeysuckle. 


Yesterday morning William walked as far as the Swan 
with Aggy Fisher, who was going to attend upon Goan's 
dying infant. She said, "There are many heavier crosses 
than the death of an infant ; " and went on, k - There was 
a woman in this vale who buried four grown-up children 
in one year, and I have heard her say, when many years 
were gone by, that she had more pleasure in thinking of 
those four, than of her living children, for as children 
get up and have families of their own, their duty to their 
parents wears out and weakens. She could trip lightly 
by the graves of those who died when they were young 
... as she went to church on a Sunday." 

... A very affecting letter came from M. H., 
while I was sitting in the window reading Milton's 
Penseroso to William. I answered this letter before I 
went to bed. 

Saturday^ $th. A fine showery morning. I made 
both pies and bread ; but we first walked into Easedale, 
and sate under the oak trees, upon the mossy stones. 
There were one or two slight showers. The gowans 
were flourishing along the banks of the stream. The 
strawberry flower hanging over the brook ; all things 
soft and green. In the afternoon William sate in the 
orchard. I went there ; was tired, and fell asleep. 
William began a letter to John Wilson. 

Sunday., 6th June. A showery morning. We were 
writing the letter to John Wilson when Ellen came. . . . 
After dinner I walked into John Fisher's intake with 
Ellen. He brought us letters from Coleridge, Mrs. 
Clarkson, and Sara Hutchinson. . . . 

Monday, 7lh June. I wrote to Mary H. this morn- 
ing ; sent the C. " Indolence " poem. Copied the letter 
to John Wilson, and wrote to my brother Richard and 
Mrs. Coleridge, In the evening I walked with Ellen 
to Butterlip How. ... It was a very sweet evening ; 
there was the cuckoo and the little birds ; the copses 
still injured, but the trees in general looked most soft 


and beautiful in tufts. ... I went with Ellen in the 
morning to Rydale Falls. . . . 

Tuesday ', Wijune. Ellen and I rode to Windermere. 
We had a fine sunny day, neither hot nor cold. I 
mounted the horse at the quarry. We had no diffi- 
culties or delays but at the gates. I was enchanted with 
some of the views. From the High Ray the view is 
very delightful, rich, and festive, water and wood, houses, 
groves, hedgerows, green fields, and mountains ; white 
houses, large and small. We passed two or three new- 
looking statesmen's houses. The Curwens' shrubberies 
looked pitiful enough under the native trees. We put 
up our horses, ate our dinner by the water-side, and 
walked up to the Station. We went to the Island, 
walked round it, and crossed the lake with our horse 
in the ferry. The shrubs have been cut away in some 
parts of the island. I observed to the boatman that I 
did not think it improved. He replied : " We think 
it is, for one could hardly see the house before." It 
seems to me to be, however, no better than it was. 
They have made no natural glades it is merely a 
lawn with a few miserable young trees, standing" as if 
they were half-starved. There are no sheep, no cattle 
upon these lawns. It is neither one thing nor another 
neither natural, nor wholly cultivated and artificial, which 
it was before. And that great house 1 Mercy upon us ! 
if it could be concealed, it would be well for all who are 
not pained to see the pleasantest of earthly spots de- 
formed by man. But it cannot be covered. Even the 
tallest of our old oak trees would not reach to the top of 
it. When we went into the boat, there were two men 
standing at the landing-place. One seemed to be about 
sixty, a man with a jolly red face ; he looked as if he 
might have lived many years in Mr. Curwen's house. 
He wore a blue jacket and trousers, as the people who 
live close by Windermere, particularly at the places of 
chief resort. . . . He looked significantly at our boat- 
man just as we were rowing off, and said, " Thomas, 


mind you take the directions off that cask. You know 
what I mean. It will serve as a blind for them. You 
know. It was a blind business, both for you, and the 
coachman, . . . and all of us. Mind you take off the 
directions. C A wink's as good as a nod with some 
folks ; 3 " and then he turned round, looking at his 
companion with an air of self-satisfaction, and deep in- 
sight into unknown things I I could hardly help laugh- 
ing outright at him. The laburnums blossom freely at 
the island, and in the shrubberies on the shore ; they 
are blighted everywhere else. Roses of various sorts 
now out. The brooms were in full glory everywhere, 
"veins of gold" among the copses. The hawthorns in 
the valley fading away ; beautiful upon the hills. We 
reached home at three o'clock. After tea William went 
out and walked and wrote that poem, 

The sun has long been set, etc. 

He . . . walked on our own path and wrote the lines ; 
he called me into the orchard, and there repeated them 
to me. . . . 

Wednesday, gfkjune. . , . The hawthorns on the 
mountain sides like orchards in blossom. . . . 

Thursday, ivtkjune. . . . Coleridge came in with 
a sack full of books, etc., and a branch of mountain ash. 
He had been attacked by a cow. He came over by 
Grisdale. A furious wind. . . 

Saturday^ I ith June. A rainy morning. Coleridge 
set off before dinner. We went with him to the Raise, 
but it rained, so we went no further. Sheltered under 
a wall. He would be sadly wet, for a furious shower 
came on just when we parted. . , . 

Sunday ', i$thjune. A fine morning. Sunshiny and 
bright, but with rainy clouds. William . . . has been 
altering the poem to Mary this morning. ... I wrote 
out poems for our journey. . . . Mr. Simpson came 
when we were in the orchard in the morning, and 


brought us a beautiful drawing which he had done. In 
the evening we walked, first on our own path. ... It 
was a silent night. The stars were out by ones and twos, 
but no cuckoo, no little birds ; the air was not warm, 
and we have observed that since Tuesday, Sth, when 
William wrote, " The sun has long been set," that we 
have had no birds singing after the evening is fairly set 
in. \Ve walked to our new view of Rydale, but it put on 
a sullen face. There was an owl hooting in Bainrigg's. 
Its first halloo was so like a human shout that I was 
surprised, when" it gave its second call tremulous and 
lengthened out, to find that the shout had come from an 
owl. The full moon (not quite full) was among a com- 
pany of shady island clouds, and the sky bluer about it 
than the natural sky blue. William observed that the 
full moon, above a dark fir grove, is a fine image of the 
descent of a superior being. There was a shower which 
drove us into John's Grove before we had quitted our 
favourite path. We walked upon John's path before we 
went to view Rydale. . . . 

Monday -, 142^. . . . William wrote to Mary and 
Sara about The Leech Gatherer, and wrote to both of 
them in one . . . and to Coleridge also. ... I walked 
with William ... on our own path. We were driven 
away by the horses that go on the commons ; then we 
went to look at Rydale ; walked a little in the fir grove ; 
went again to the top of the hill, and came home. A 
mild and sweet night. William stayed behind me. I 
threw him the cloak out of the window. The moon 
overcast. He sate a few minutes in the orchard ; came 
in sleepy, and hurried to bed. I carried him his bread 
and butter. 

Tuesday ', 15 tk. A sweet grey, mild morning. The 
birds sing soft and low. William has not slept all night ; 
it wants only ten minutes of ten, and he is in bed yet. 
After William rose we went and sate in the orchard till 
dinner time. We walked a long time in the evening 
upon our favourite path ; the owls hooted, the night 


hawk sang to Itself incessantly, but there were no little 
birds, no thrushes. I left William writing a few lines 
about the night hawk and other images of the evening, 
and went to seek for letters. . . . 

Wednesday -, i&t/t. We walked towards Rydale for 
letters. . . . One from Mary. We went up into Rydale 
woods and read it there. We sate near the old wall, 
which fenced a hazel grove, which William said was 
exactly like the filbert grove at Middleham. It is a 
beautiful spot, a sloping or rather steep piece of ground, 
with hazels growing " tall and erect )J in clumps at 
distances, almost seeming regular, as if they had been 
planted. ... I wrote to Mary after dinner, while 
William sate in the orchard. ... I spoke of the little 
birds keeping us company, and William told me that 
that very morning a bird had perched upon his leg. 
He had been lying very still, and had watched this little 
creature. It had come under the bench where he was 
sitting. ... He thoughtlessly stirred himself to look 
further at it, and it flew on to the apple tree above him. 
It was a little young creature that had just left its nest, 
equally unacquainted with man, and unaccustomed to 
struggle against the storms and winds. While it was 
upon the apple tree the wind blew about the stiff boughs, 
and the bird seemed bemazed, and not strong enough to 
strive with it. The swallows come to the sitting-room 
window as if wishing to build, but I am afraid they will 
not have courage for it ; but I believe they will build in 
my room window. They twitter, and make a bustle, 
and a little cheerful song, hanging against the panes of 
glass with their soft white bellies close to the glass and 
their forked fish-like tails. They swim round and round, 
and again they come. ... I do not now see the brownness 
that was in the coppices. The bower hawthorn blossoms 
passed away. Those on the hills are a faint white. 
The wild guelder-rose is coming out, and the wild roses. 
I have seen no honey-suckles yet. . . . Foxgloves are 
now frequent. 


Thursday, ijth. . . . When 1 came home 1^ found 
William at work attempting to alter a stanza in the 
poem on our going for Mary, which I convinced him 
did not need altering. We sate in the house after 
dinner. In the evening walked on our favourite path. 
A short letter from Coleridge. William added a little 
to the Ode he is writing. 1 

Friday* iBf/i Juxc.VSlien we were sitting after 
breakfast . . . Luff came in. He had rode over the 
Fells. He brought news about Lord Lowther's intention 
to pay all debts, eta, and a letter from Mr. Clarkson. 
He saw our garden, was astonished at the scarlet 
beans, etc. etc, etc. When he was gone, we wrote to 
Coleridge, M. H., and my brother Richard about 
the affair. William determined to go to Eusemere on 

Monday. . . . 

Saturday, 19^. The swallows were very busy under 
my window this morning. . . . Coleridge, when he was 
last here, told us that for many years, there being no 
Quaker meeting at Keswick, a single old Quaker woman 
used to go regularly alone every Sunday to attend the 
meeting-house, and there used to sit and perform her 
worship alone, in that beautiful place among those fir 
trees, in that spacious vale, under the great mountain 
Skiddaw 1 ! ! . . . On Thursday morning Miss Hudson 
of Workington called. She said, . . . I sow flowers 
in the parks several miles from home, and my mother 
and I visit them, and watch them how they grow." This 
may show that botanists may be often deceived when 
they find rare flowers growing far from houses. This 
was a very ordinary young woman, such as in any town 
in the North of England one may find a score. I sate 
up a while after William. He then called me down to 
him. (I was writing to Mary H.) I read Churchill's 
Rosciad* Returned again to my writing, and did not go 
to bed till he called to me. The shutters were closed, 

1 Doubtless the Ode, Intimations of Immortality. ED. 


)ut I heard the birds singing. There was our own 
hrush, shouting with an impatient shout ; so it sounded 

me. The morning was still, the twittering of the 
ittle birds was very gloomy. The owls had hooted a 
quarter of an hour before, now the cocks were crowing, 
t was near daylight, I put out my candle, and went to 
Ded. . . . 

Sunday^ 2O//&. . . . We were in the orchard a 
preat part of the morning. After tea we walked upon 
DUT own path for a long time. We talked sweetly 
:ogether about the disposal of our riches. We lay upon 
:he sloping tur Earth and sky were so lovely that 
:hey melted our very hearts. The sky to the north was 
3f a chastened yet rich yellow, fading into pale blue, and 
streaked and scattered over with steady islands of purple, 
melting away into shades of pink. It was like a vision 
to me. . . . 

Tuesday morning. ... I walked to Rydale. I 
waited long for the post, lying in the field, and looking 
at the distant mountains, looking and listening to the 
river. I met the post. Letters from Montagu and 
Richard. I hurried back, forwarded these to William, 
and wrote to Montagu. When I came home I wrote 
to my brother Christopher. I could settle to nothing. 
... I read the Midsummer Nighfs Dream y and began 
As You Like It. 

Wednesday ', ^rd June. ... A sunshiny morning. 

1 walked to the top of the hill and sate under a wall 
near John's Grove, facing the sun. I read a scene or 
two in As You Like //.... Coleridge and Leslie came 
just as I had lain down after dinner. C. brought me 
William's letter. He had got well to Eusemere. 
Coleridge and I accompanied Leslie to the boat-house. 
It was a sullen, coldish evening, no sunshine ; but after 
we had parted from Leslie a light came out suddenly 
that repaid us for all. It fell only upon one hill, and 
the island, but it arrayed the grass and trees in gem-like 


brightness. I cooked Coleridge's supper. We sate up 
till one o'clock. 

Thursday, z&hjune. I went with C. half way up the 
Raise. It was a cool morning. . . . William came in 
just when M. had left me. It was a mild, rainy evening. 
. . . We sate together talking till the first dawning of 
day ; a happy time. 

Friday, 2 5 A* June. ... I went, just before tea, 
into the garden. I looked up at my swallow's nest, and 
it was gone. It had fallen down. Poor little creatures, 
they could not themselves be more distressed than I 
was. I went upstairs to look at the ruins. They lay 
in a large heap upon the window ledge ; these swallows 
had been ten days employed in building this nest, and 
it seemed to be almost finished. I had watched them 
early in the morning, in the day many and many a time, 
and in the evenings when it was almost dark. I had 
seen them sitting together side by side in their unfinished 
nest, both morning and night When they first came 
about the window they used to hang against the panes, 
with their white bellies and their forked tails, looking 
like fish ; but then they fluttered and sang their own 
little twittering song. As soon as the nest was broad 
enough, a sort of ledge for them, they sate both mornings 
and evenings, but they did not pass the night there. I 
watched them one morning, when William was at 
Eusemere, for more than an hour. Every now and 
then there was a motion in their wings, a sort of tremu- 
lousness, and they sang a low song to one another. 

, . It is now eight o'clock ; I will go and see if my 
swallows are on their nest. Yes ! there they are, side 
by side, both looking down into the garden. I have 
been out on purpose to see their faces. I knew by 
looking at the window that they were there. . . . 
Coleridge and William came in at about half-past eleven. 
They talked till after twelve. 

Wednesday, $otk June. . . . We met an old man 

v G8ASMERE 135 

between the Raise and Lewthwaites. He wore a rusty 
but untorn hat, an excellent blue coat, waistcoat, and 
breeches, and good mottled worsted stockings. His 
beard was very thick and grey, of a fortnight's growth 
we guessed ; it was a regular beard, like grey plush. 
His bundle contained Sheffield ware. William said to 
him, after we had asked him what his business was, 
" You are a very old man ? " " Aye, I am eighty-three." 
I joined in, " Have you any children ? " " Children ? 
Yes, plenty. I have children and grand-children, and 
great grand-children. I have a great grand -daughter, 
a fine lass, thirteen years old." I then said, " Won't 
they take care of you ? " He replied, much offended, 
" Thank God, I can take care of myself." He said he 
had been a servant of the Marquis of Granby " O he 
was a good man ; he's in heaven ; I hope he is." He 
then told us how he shot himself at Bath, that he was 
with him in Germany, and travelled with him every- 
where. " He was a famous boxer, sir." And then he 
told us a story of his fighting with his farmer. " He 
used always to call me bland and sharp." Then every 
now and then he broke out, " He was a good man ! 
When we were travelling he never asked at the public- 
houses, as it might be there " (pointing to the " Swan "), 
" what we were to pay, but he would put his hand into 
his pocket and give them what he liked ; and when he 
came out of the house he would say, Now, they would 
have charged me a shilling or tenpence. God help them, 
poor creatures ! " I asked him again about his children, 
how many he had. Says he, " I cannot tell you " (I 
suppose he confounded children and grand-children to- 
gether) ; " I have one daughter that keeps a boarding- 
school at Skipton, in Craven. She teaches flowering 
and marking. And another that keeps a boarding-school 
at Ingleton. I brought up my family under the 
Marquis." He was familiar with all parts of Yorkshire. 
He asked us where we lived. At Grasmere. "The 
bonniest dale in all England ! " says the old man. 


I bought a pair of slippers from him, and we sate 
together by the road-side. When we parted I tried to 
lift his bundle, and it was almost more than I could do. 
. . . After tea I wrote to Coleridge, and closed up my 
letter to M. H. We went soon to bed. A weight of 
children a poor man's blessing ! . . . 

Friday^ 7,nd July. A very rainy morning. ... I 
left William, and wrote a short letter to M. H. and to 
Coleridge, and transcribed the alterations in The Leech 

Sunday ', $th July. . . . William finished The Leech 
Gatherer to-day. 

Monday -, $thjuly. A very sweet morning. William 
stayed some time in the orchard. ... I copied out The 
Leech Gatherer for Coleridge, and foi us. Wrote to 
Mrs. Clarkson, M. H., and Coleridge. . . . 

Tuesday p , 6th July. . . . We set off towards 
Rydale for letters. The rain met us at the top of the 
White Moss, and it came on very heavily afterwards. 
It drove past Nab Scar in a substantial shape, as if 
going to Grasmere was as far as it could go. . . . The 
swallows have completed their beautiful nest. . . . 

Wednesday \ 7th. . . . Walked on the White Moss. 
Glow-worms. Well for them children are in bed when 
they shine. 

Thursday, %th. . . . When I was coming home, a 
post-chaise passed with a little girl behind in a patched, 
ragged cloak. In the afternoon, after we had talked a 
little, William fell asleep. I read the Winters Tale; 
then I went to bed, but did not sleep. The swallows 
stole in and out of their nest, and sate there, 'whiles 
quite still, 'whiles they sung low for two minutes or more, 
at a time just like a muffled robin. William was look- 
ing at The Pedlar when I got up. He arranged it, and 
after tea I wrote it out 280 lines. . . . The moon was 
behind. William hurried me out in hopes that I should 


see her. We walked first to the top of the hill to see 
Rydale. It was dark and dull, but our own vale was 
very solemn the shape of Helm Crag was quite dis- 
tinct, though black. We walked backwards and forwards 
on the White Moss path ; there was a sky-like white 
brightness on the lake. The Wyke cottage right at the 
foot of Silver How. Glow-worms out, but not so 
numerous as last night O, beautiful place ! Dear 
Mary, William. The hour is come ... I must pre- 
pare to go. The swallows, I must leave them, the wall, 
the garden, the roses, all. Dear creatures ! they sang 
last night after I was in bed ; seemed to be singing to 
one another, just before they settled to rest for the 
night. Well, I must go. Farewell. 1 

1 Several of the poems, referred to in this Journal, are difficult, 
If not impossible, to identify. The Inscription of the Pathway, 
finished on the sSth of August 1800 ; The Epitaph, written on the 
28th January 1801 \ The Yorkshire Wolds poem, referred to on 
March ioth, 1802 ; also The Silver Howe poem , and that known 
in the Wordsworth household as The Tinker. It is possible that 
some of them were intentionally suppressed- The Inscription ej 
the Pathway and The Tinker will, however, soon be published. 





ON Friday morning, July 9th, William and I set forward 
to Keswick on our road to Callow Hill. We had a 
pleasant ride, though the day was showery. . . . 
Coleridge met us at Sara's Rock. . . . We had been 
told by a handsome man, an inhabitant of Wytheburn, 
with whom he had been talking (and who seemed, by 
the bye, much pleased with his companion), that C. was 
waiting for us. We reached Keswick against tea-time. 
We called at Calverr/s on the Saturday evening. . . . 
On Monday, 1 2th July, we went to Eusemere. Coleridge 
walked with us six or seven miles. He was not well, 
and we had a melancholy parting after having sate 
together in silence by the road-side. We turned aside 
to explore the country near Hutton-John, and had a new 
and delightful walk. The valley, which is subject to the 
decaying mansion that stands at its head, seems to join 
its testimony to that of the house, to the falling away of 
the family greatness, and the hedges are in bad condition. 
The land wants draining, and is overrun with brackens ; 
yet there is a something everywhere that tells of its 
former possessors. The trees are left scattered about as 
if intended to be like a park, and these are very interest- 
ing, standing as they do upon the sides of the steep hills 
that slope down to the bed of the river, a little stony- 
bedded stream that spreads out to a considerable breadth 


at the village of Dacre. A little above Dacre we came 
into the right road to Mr. Ciarkson's, after having walked 
through woods and fields, never exactly knowing whether 
we were right or wrong. We learnt, however, that we 
had saved half-a-mile. We sate down by the river-side 
to rest, and saw some swallows flying about and under 
the bridge, and two little schoolboys were loitering among 
the scars seeking after their nests. We reached Mr. 
Clarkson's at about eight o'clock after a sauntering walk, 
having lingered and loitered and sate down together that 
we might be alone. Mr. and Mrs. C. were just come 
from LufTs. We spent Tuesday, the isth of July, at 
Eusemere ; and on Wednesday morning, the I4th, we 
walked to Emont Bridge, and mounted the coach between 
Bird's Nest and Hartshorn Tree. ... At Greta Bridge 
the sun shone cheerfully, and a glorious ride we had over 
Gaterly Moor. Every building was bathed in golden 
light. The trees were more bright than earthly ^ trees, 
and we saw round us miles beyond miles Darlington 
spire, etc. etc. We reached Leeming Lane at about 
nine o'clock : supped comfortably, and enjoyed our fire. 
On Thursday morning, at a little before seven, being 
the 1 5th July, we got into a post-chaise and went to 
Thirsk to breakfast. We were well treated, but when 
the landlady understood that we were going to 'walk off, 
and leave our luggage behind, she threw out some saucy 
words in our hearing. The day was very hot, and we 
rested often and long before we reached the foot of the 
Hambledon Hills, and while we were climbing them, 
still oftener. . . . We were almost overpowered with 
thirst, when I heard the trickling of a little stream of 
water. I was before William, and I stopped till he 
came up to me. We sate a long time by this water, 
and climbed the hill slowly. I was footsore; the sun 
shone hot; the little Scotch cattle panted and tossed 
fretfully about. The view was hazy, and we could see 
nothing from the top of the hill but an undistinct wide- 
spreading country, full of trees, but the buildings, towns, 



and houses were lost. We stopped to examine that 
curious stone, then walked along the fiat common, . 
Arrived very hungry at Rivaux. Nothing to eat at the 
Millers, as we expected, but at an exquisitely neat farm- 
house we got some boiled milk and bread. This 
strengthened us^ and I went down to look at the ruins. 
Thrushes were singing ; cattle feeding among green- 
grown hillocks about the ruins. The hillocks were 
scattered over with grovelcts of wild roses and other 
shrubs, and covered with wild flowers. I could have 
stayed in this solemn quiet spot till evening, without a 
thought of moving, but William was waiting for me, so in a 
quarter of an hour I went away. We walked upon Mr. 
Buncombe's terrace and looked down upon the Abbey. 
It stands in a larger valley among a brotherhood of 
valleys ) of different length and breadth, all woody, and 
running up into the hills in all directions. We reached 
Helmsly just at dusk. We had a beautiful view of the 
castle from the top of the hill, and slept at a very nice 
inn, and were well treated ; floors as smooth as ice. On 
Friday morning, i6th July, we walked to Kirby. Met 
people coining to Helmsly fair. Were misdirected, and 
walked a mile out of our way. ... A beautiful view 
above Pickering. ... Met Mary and Sara seven miles 
from G. H. Sheltered from the rain j beautiful glen, 
spoiled by the large house ; sweet church and churchyard. 
Arrived at Callow Hill at seven o'clock. 

Friday Evening^ i6th July. . . . Sara, Tom, and I 
rode up Bedale. Win., Mary, Sara, and I went to 
Scarborough, and we walked in the Abbey pasture, and 
to Wykeham ; and on Monday, the 26th, we went off 
with Mary in a post-chaise. We had an interesting ride 
over the Wolds, though it rained all the way, Single 
thorn bushes were scattered about on the turf, sheep- 
sheds .here and there, and now and then a little hut. 
Swelling grounds, and sometimes a single tree or a 
clump of trees, . . . We passed through one or two 
little villages, embosomed in tall trees. After we had 


parted from Mary, there were gleams of sunshine, but 
with showers. We saw Beverley in a heavy rain, and 
yet were much pleased with the beauty of the town. 
Saw the minster a pretty, clean building-, but injured 
very much with Grecian architecture. The country 
between Beverley and Hull very rich, but miserably flat 
brick houses, windmills, houses again dull and end- 
less. Hull a frightful, dirty, brickhousey, tradesman- 
like, rich, vulgar place ; yet the river though the shores 
are so low that they can hardly be seen looked beautiful 
with the evening lights upon it, and boats moving 
about. We walked a long time, and returned to our dull 
day-room but quiet evening one, to supper. 

Tuesday \ 2O/,fc. Market day. Streets dirty, very 
rainy, did not leave Hull till four o'clock, and left Barton 
at about six; rained all the way almost. A beautiful 
village at the foot of a hill with trees. A gentleman's 
house converted into a lady's boarding-school. . . . We 
left Lincoln on Wednesday morning, 27th July, at six 
o'clock. It rained heavily, and we could see nothing 
but the antientry of some of the buildings as we passed 
along. The night before, however, we had seen 
enough to make us regret this. The minster stands at 
the edge of a hill overlooking an immense plain. The 
country very flat as we went along; the day mended. 
We went to see the outside of the minster while the 
passengers were dining at Peterborough ; the west end 
very grand. ... 

On Thursday morning, 29th, we arrived in London. 
Wnu left me at the Sun. . . . After various troubles 
and disasters, we left London on Saturday morning at 
half-past five or six, the 3ist of July. We mounted the 
Dover coach at Charing Cross. It was a beautiful 
morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a 
multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as 
we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not 
overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread 
out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a 


fierce light, that there was even something like the purity 
of one of nature's own grand spectacles. 1 

We rode on cheerfully, now with the Paris diligence 
before us, now behind. We walked up the steep hills, 
a beautiful prospect everywhere, till we even reached 
Dover. At first the rich, populous, wide- spreading, 
woody country about London, then the River Thames, 
ships sailing, chalk cliffs, trees, little villages. Afterwards 
Canterbury, situated on a plain, rich and woody, but the 
city and cathedral disappointed me. Hop grounds on 
each side of the road some miles from Canterbury ; then 
we came to a common, the race ground, an elevated 
plain, villages among trees in the bed of a valley at our 
right, and, rising above this valley, green hills scattered 
over with wood, neat gentlemen's houses. One white 
house, almost hid with green trees, which we longed for, 
and the parson's house, as neat a place as could be, 
which would just have suited Coleridge. No doubt we 
may have found one for Tom Hutchinson and Sara, and 
a good farm too. We halted at a half-way house fruit 
carts under the shade of trees, seats for guests, a tempt- 
ing place to the weary traveller. Still, as we went 
along, the country was beautiful and hilly, with cottages 
lurking under the hills, and their little plots of hop 
ground like vineyards. It was a bad hop year, A 
woman on the top of the coach said to me, " It is a sad 
thing for the poor people^ for the hop-gathering is the 
woman's harvest ; there is employment about the hops 
for women and children." 

We saw the castle of Dover, and the sea beyond, 
four or five miles before we reached it. We looked at it 
through a long vale, the castle being upon an eminence, 
as it seemed, at the end of this vale, which opened to 
the sea. The country now became less fertile, but near 
Dover it seemed more rich again. Many buildings 

1 Compare the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, 
September 3, 1802, In voL ii. p. 328. ED. 



stand on the flat fields, sheltered with tall trees. There 
Is one old chapel that might have been there just in the 
same state in which it now is when this vale was as 
retired, and as little known to travellers as our own 
Cumberland mountain wilds thirty years ago. There 
was also a very old building on the other side of the 
road, which had a strange effect among the many new 
ones that are springing up everywhere. It seemed odd 
that it could have kept itself pure in its ancientry among 
so many upstarts. It was near dark when we reached 
Dover. We were told that a packet was about to sail, 
so we went down to the custom-house in half-an-hour 
had our luggage examined, etc. etc., and then we drank 
tea with the Honourable Mr. Knox and his tutor. We 
arrived at Calais at four o'clock on Sunday morning, the 
3 1st of July. We stayed in the vessel till half- past 
seven ; then William went for letters at about half-past 
eight or nine. We found out Annette and C chez 
Madame Avril dans la Rue de la Tte d'or. We lodged 
opposite two ladies, in tolerably decent-sized rooms, but 
badly furnished. . . . The weather was very hot. We 
walked by the sea-shore almost every evening with 
Annette and Caroline, or William and I alone. I had a 
bad cold, and could not bathe at first, but William did. 
It was a pretty sight to see as we walked upon the 
sands when the tide was low, perhaps a hundred people 
bathing about a quarter of a mile distant from us. And 
we had delightful walks after the heat of the day was 
passed seeing far off in the west the coast of England 
like a cloud crested with Dover castle, which was but 
like the summit of the cloud the evening star and the 
glory of the sky, 1 the reflections in the water were more 
beautiful than the sky itself, purple waves brighter than 
precious stones, for ever melting away upon the sands. 

1 Compare the sonnet (" Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 330) be- 

Fair Star of evening, Splendour of the west 


vi GRAS&fERE 147 

The fort, a wooden building, at the entrance of the 
harbour at Calais, when the evening twilight was coming 
on, and we could not see anything of the building but its 
shape, which was far more distinct than in perfect day- 
light, seemed to be reared upon pillars of ebony, between 
which pillars the sea was seen in the most beautiful 
colours that can be conceived. Nothing in romance 
was ever half so beautiful. Now came in view, as the 
evening star sunk down, and the colours of the west 
faded away, the two lights of England, lighted up by 
Englishmen in our country to warn vessels off rocks or 
sands. These we used to see from the pier, when we 
could see no other distant objects but the clouds, the 
sky, and the sea itself all was dark behind. The town 
of Calais seemed deserted of the light of heaven, but 
there was always light, and life, and joy upon the sea. 
One night I shall never forget the day had been very 
hot, and William and I walked alone together upon the 
pier. The sea was gloomy, for there was a blackness 
over all the sky, except when it was overspread with 
lightning, which often revealed to us a distant vessel 
near, as the waves roared and broke against the pier, 
and they were interfused with greenish fiery light The 
more distant sea always black and gloomy. It was also 
beautiful, on the calm hot night, to see the little boats 
row out of harbour with wings of fire, and the sail boats 
with the fiery track which they cut as they went along, 
and which closed up after them with a hundred thousand 
sparkles, and streams of glow-worm light Caroline was 

On Sunday, the 2Qth of August, we left Calais at 
twelve o'clock in the morning, and landed at Dover at 
one on Monday the 3oth. ... It was very pleasant to 
me, when we were in the harbour at Dover, to breathe 
the fresh air, and to look up, and see the stars among 
the ropes of the vessel. The next day was very hot 
We . . . bathed, and sate upon the Dover Cliffs, and 
looked upon France with many a melancholy and tender 


thought We could see the shores almost as plain as if 
it were but an English lake. We mounted the coach, 
and arrived in London at six, the soth August. It was 
misty, and we could see nothing. We stayed in London 
till Wednesday the 2 2nd of September, and arrived at 
Callow Hill on Friday. 

September 24^. Mary first met us in the avenue. 
She looked so fat and well that we were made very 
happy by the sight of her ; then came Sara, and last of 
all Joanna. Tom was forking corn, standing upon the 
corn cart. We dressed ourselves immediately and got 
tea, The garden looked gay with asters and sweet 
peas. Jack and George came on Friday evening, ist 
October. On Saturday, 2nd, we rode to Hackness, 
William, Jack, George, and Sara single. I behind Tom. 
On Sunday 3rd, Mary and Sara were busy packing. 

On Monday, 4th October 1 802, my brother William 
was married to Mary Hutchinson. 1 I slept a good deal 
of the night, and rose fresh and well in the morning. 
At a little after eight o'clock, I saw them go down the 
avenue towards the church. William had parted from 
me upstairs. When they were absent, my dear little 
Sara prepared the breakfast. I kept myself as quiet as 
I could, but when I saw the two men running up the 
walk, coming to tell us it was over, I could stand it no 
longer, and threw myself on the bed, where I lay in still- 
ness, neither hearing nor seeing anything till Sara came 
upstairs to me, and said, "They are coming." This 
forced me from the bed where I lay, and I moved, I 
knew not how, straight forward, faster than my strength 
could carry me, till I met my beloved William, and fell 
upon his bosom. He and John Hutchinson led me to 
the house, and there I stayed to welcome my dear Maty. 
As soon as we had breakfasted, we departed. It rained 
when we set off. Poor Mary was much agitated, when 

1 It may not be a too trivial detail to note that Coleridge's 
Defection, an Ode, appeared in The Morning Post on Wordsworth's 
marriage day. ED. 



she parted from her brothers and sisters, and her home. 
Nothing particular occurred till we reached Kirby. We 
had sunshine and showers, pleasant talk, love and cheer- 
fulness. We were obliged to stay two hours at K. while 
the horses were feeding. We wrote a few lines to Sara, 
and then walked out ; the sun shone, and we went to the 
churchyard after we had put a letter into the post-office 
for the York Herald. We sauntered about, and read 
the grave-stones. There was one to the memory of five 
children, who had all died within five years, and the 
longest lived had only lived four years. . . . 

We left Kirby at about half-past two. There is not 
much variety of prospect from K. to Helmsley, but the 
country is very pleasant, being rich and woody, and 
Helmsley itself stands very sweetly at the foot of the 
rising grounds of Duncombe Park, which is scattered 
over with tall woods ; and, lifting itself above the common 
buildings of the town, stands Helmsley Castle, now a 
ruin, formerly inhabited by the gay Duke of Buckingham. 
Every foot of the road was of itself interesting to us, for 
we had travelled along it on foot, William and I, when 
we went to fetch our dear Mary, and had sate upon the 
turf by the roadside more than once. Before we reached 
Helmsley, our driver told us that he could not take us 
any further, so we stopped at the same inn where we 
had slept before. My heart danced at the sight of its 
cleanly outside, bright yellow walls, Casements over- 
shadowed with jasmine, and its low, double gavel-ended 
front. . . . Mary and I warmed ourselves at the kitchen 
fire. We then walked into the garden, and looked over 
a gate, up to the old ruin which stands at the top of the 
mount, and round about it the moats are grown up into 
soft green cradles, hollows surrounded with green grassy 
hillocks, and these are overshadowed by old trees, chiefly 
ashes. I prevailed upon William to go up with me to 
the ruins. . . . The sun shone, it was warm and very 
pleasant. One part of the castle seems to be inhabited. 
There was a man mowing nettles in the open space 


which had most likely once been the castle-court. There 
is one gateway exceedingly beautiful. Children were 
playing upon the sloping ground. We came home by 
the street After about an hour's delay, we set forward 
again ; had an excellent driver, who opened the gates 
so dexterously that the horses never stopped. Mary 
was very much delighted with the view of the castle from 
the point where we had seen it before. I was pleased 
to see again the little path which we had walked upon, 
the gate I had climbed over, and the road down which 
we had seen the two little boys drag a log of wood, and 
a team of horses struggle under the weight of a great 
load of timber. We had felt compassion for the poor 
horses that were under the governance of oppression 
and Ill-judging drivers, and for the poor boys, who seemed 
of an age to have been able to have dragged the log of 
wood merely out of the love of their own activity, but 
from poverty and bad food they panted for weakness, 
and were obliged to fetch their father from the town to 
help them. Duncombe house looks well from the road 
a large building, though I believe only two-thirds of 
the original design are completed. We rode down a 
very steep hill to Rivaux valley, with woods all round 
us. We stopped upon the bridge to look at the Abbey, 
and again when we had crossed it. Dear Mary had 
never seen a ruined abbey before except Whitby. We 
recognised the cottages, houses, and the little valleys as 
we went along. We walked up a long hill, the road 
carrying us up the cleft or valley with woody hills on 
each side of us. When we went to G. H. I had walked 
down the valley alone. William followed me. 

Before we had crossed the Hambledon Hill, and 
reached the point overlooking Yorkshire, it was quite 
dark. We had not wanted, however, fair prospects 
before us, as we drove along the flat plain of the high 
hill. Far far off from us, in the western sky, we saw 
shapes of castles, ruins among groves, a great spreading 
wood, rocks, and single trees, a minster with its tower 


unusually distinct, minarets in another quarter, and a 
round Grecian Temple also ; the colours of the sky of a 
bright grey, and the forms of a sober grey, with a dome. 
As we descended the hill there was no distinct view, 
but of a great space ; only near us we saw the wild 
(and as the people say) bottomless tarn in the hollow at 
the side of the hill. It seemed to be made visible to us 
only by its own light, for all the hill about us was dark. 
Before we reached Thirsk we saw a light before us, which 
we at first thought was the moon, then lime-kilns ; but 
when we drove into the market-place it proved a large 
bonfire, with lads dancing round it, which is a sight I 
dearly love. The inn was like an illuminated house 
every room full. We asked the cause, and were told 
by the girl that it was " Mr. John Bell's birthday, that 
he had heired his estate. 3 ' The landlady was very civil 
She did not recognise the despised foot-travellers. We 
rode on in the dark, and reached Leeming Lane at eleven 
o'clock. . . . 

The next morning we set off at about half-past eight 
o'clock. It was a cheerful, sunny morning. . . . We 
had a few showers, but when we came to the green fields 
of Wensley, the sun shone upon them all, and the Ure 
in its many windings glittered as it flowed along under 
the green slopes of Middleham Castle. Mary looked 
about for her friend Mr. Place, and thought she had him 
sure on the contrary side of the vale from that on which 
we afterwards found he lived. We went to a new built 
house at Ley burn, the same village where William and 
I had dined on our road to Grasmere two years and 
three-quarters ago, but not the same house. The land- 
lady was very civil, giving us cake and wine, but the 
horses being out we were detained at least two hours, 
and did not set off till two o'clock. We paid for thirty- 
five miles, Le. to Sedbergh, but the landlady did not 
encourage us to hope to get beyond Hawes. . . . When 
we passed through the village of Wensley my heart 
melted away, with dear recollections the bridge, the 


little waterspout, the steep hill, the church. They are 
among the most vivid of my own inner visions, for they 
were the first objects that I saw after we were left to 
ourselves, and had turned our whole hearts to Grasmere 
as a home in which we were to rest. The vale looked 
most beautiful each way. To the left the bright silver 
stream inlaid the flat and very green meadows, winding 
like a serpent To the right, we did not see it so far, 
it was lost among trees and little hills. I could not help 
observing, as we went along, how much more varied the 
prospects of Wensley Dale are in the summer time than 
I could have thought possible in the winter. This 
seemed to be in great measure owing to the trees being 
in leaf, and forming groves and screens, and thence little 
openings upon recesses and concealed retreats, which in 
winter only made a part of the one great vale. The 
beauty of the summer time here as much excels that of 
the winter, as the variety (owing to the excessive green- 
ness) of the fields, and the trees in leaf half concealing, 
and where they do not conceal softening the hard 
bareness of the limey white roofs. One of our horses 
seemed to grow a little restive as we went through the 
first village, a long village on the side of a hill. It grew 
worse and worse, and at last we durst not go on any 
longer. We walked a while, and then the post boy was 
obliged to take the horse out, and go back for another. 
We seated ourselves again snugly in the post-chaise. 
The wind struggled about us and rattled the window, and 
gave a gentle motion to the chaise, but we were warm 
and at our ease within. Our station was at the top of 
a hill, opposite Bolton Castle, the Ure flowing beneath. 
William has since written a sonnet on this our imprison- 
ment Hard was thy durance, poor Queen Mary ! 
compared with ours. . , - 1 

We had a sweet ride till we came to a public-house 
on the side of a hill, where we alighted and walked 

1 This sonnet was not thought worthy of being preserved. ED. 


down to see the waterfalls. The sun was not set, and 
the woods and fields were spread over with the yellow 
light of evening, which made their greenness a thousand 
times more green. There was too much water in the 
river for the beauty of the falls, and even the banks were 
less interesting than in winter. Nature had entirely got 
the better in her struggles against the giants who first 
cast the mould of these works ; for, indeed, it is a place 
that did not in winter remind one of God, but one could 
not help feeling as if there had been the agency of some 
" mortal instruments," which Nature had been struggling 
against without making a perfect conquest. There was 
something so wild and new in this feeling, knowing, as 
we did in the inner man, that God alone had laid his 
hand upon it, that I could not help regretting the want 
of it ; besides, it is a pleasure to a real lover of Nature 
to give winter all the glory he can, for summer 'will 
make its own way, and speak its own praises. We saw 
the pathway which William and I took at the close of 
evening, the path leading to the rabbit warren where we 
lost ourselves. Sloe farm, with its holly hedges, was 
lost among the green hills and hedgerows in general, 
but we found it out, and were glad to look at it again. 
William left us to seek the waterfalls. . . . 

At our return to the inn, we found new horses and 
a new driver, and we went on nicely to Hawes, where 
we arrived before it was quite dark. . . . We rose at 
six o'clock a rainy morning. . . . There was a very 
fine view about a mile from Hawes, where we crossed a 
bridge ; bare and very green fields with cattle, a glitter- 
ing stream, cottages, a few ill-grown trees, and high 
hills. The sun shone now. Before we got upon the 
bare hills, there was a hunting lodge on our right, 
exactly like Greta Hill, with fir plantations about it. 
We were very fortunate in the day, gleams of sunshine, 
passing clouds, that travelled with their shadows below 
them. Mary was much pleased with Garsdale. It was 
a dear place to William and me. We noted well the 


public-house (Garsdale Hall) where we had baited, . . . 
and afterwards the mountain which had been adorned 
by Jupiter in his glory when we were here before. It 
was midday when we reached Sedbergh, and market 
day. We were in the same room where we had spent 
the evening together in our road to Grasmere. We had 
a pleasant ride to Kendal, where we arrived at two 
o'clock. The day favoured us. M. and I went to see 
the house where dear Sara had lived. ... I am always 
glad to see Staveley ; it is a place 1 dearly love to think 
of the first mountain village that I came to with 
William when we first began our pilgrimage together. 
. . . Nothing particular occurred till we reached Ings 
chapeL The door was open, and we went in. It is a 
neat little place, with a marble floor and marble com- 
munion table, with a painting over it of the last supper, 
and Moses and Aaron on each side. The woman told 
us that " they had painted them as near as they could 
by the dresses as they are described in the Bible," and 
gay enough they are. The marble had been sent by 
Richard Bateman from Leghorn. The woman told us 
that a man had been at her house a few days before, 
who told her he had helped to bring it down the Red 
Sea, and she believed him gladly ! . . . We . . . 
arrived at Grasmere at about six o'clock on Wednesday 
evening, the 6th of October 1802. ... I cannot 
describe what I felt. . . . We went by candle light into 
the garden, and were astonished at the growth of the 
brooms, Portugal laurels, etc. etc. etc. The next day, 
Thursday, we unpacked the boxes. On Friday, 8th, 
. . . Mary and I walked first upon the hill-side, and 
then in John's Grove, then in view of Rydale, the first 
walk that I had taken with my sister. 

Monday r , i ith, A beautiful day. We walked to the 
Kasedale hills to hunt waterfalls. William and Mary 
left me sitting on a stone on the solitary mountains, and 
went to Easedale tarn. . . . The approach to the tarn 


is very beautiful. We expected to have found Coleridge 
at home, but he did not come till after dinner. He was 
well, but did not look so. 

Tuesday, iith October. We walked with Coleridge 
to Rydale. 

Wednesday, i^tJi, Set forwards with him towards 
Keswick, and he prevailed us to go on. We con- 
sented, Mrs. C. not being at home. The day was 
delightful. . . . 

Thursday ', i ^th. We went in the evening to Calvert's. 
Moonlight. Stayed supper. 

Saturday, i6tk. Came home, Mary and I. William 
returned to Coleridge before we reached Nadel Fell. 
Mary and I had a pleasant walk The day was very 
bright ; the people busy getting in their corn. Reached 
home at about five o'clock. <, . . 

Sunday, ijth. We had thirteen of our neighbours 
to tea. William came in just as we began tea. 

Saturday, $otk October. William is gone to Keswick. 
Mary went with him to the top of the Raise. She is 
returned, and is now sitting near me by the fire. It is 
a breathless, grey day, that leaves the golden woods 
of autumn quiet in their own tranquillity, stately and 
beautiful in their decaying. The lake is a perfect mirror. 

William met Stoddart at the bridge at the foot 
of Legberthwaite dale. . . . They surprised us by 
their arrival at four o'clock in the afternoon. . . . After 
tea, S. read Chaucer to us. 

Monday, 31 st October. 1 . . . William and S. went 
to Keswick. Mary and I walked to the top of the hill 
and looked at Rydale. I was much affected when I 
stood upon the second bar of Sara's gate. The lake 
was perfectly still, the sun shone on hill and vale, the 
distant birch trees looked like large golden flowers. 

1 This should have been entered ist November. ED. 


Nothing else In colour was distinct and separate, but all 
the beautiful colours seemed to be melted into one 
another, and joined together in one mass, so that there 
were no differences, though an endless variety, when one 
tried to find it out. The fields were of one sober yellow 
brown. . . . 

Tuesday ', -2nd November. William returned from 

Friday ', $th. ... I wrote to Montagu, . . . and 
sent off letters to Miss Lamb and Coleridge. . . . 

Sunday f , Jtk. Fine weather. Letters from Coleridge 
that he was gone to London. Sara at Penrith. I 
wrote to Mrs. Clarkson. William began to translate 

Monday, Wi. A beautiful day. William got to 
work again at Ariosto, and so continued all the morning, 
though the day was so delightful that it made my very 
heart long to be out of doors, and see and feel the beauty 
of the autumn in freedom. The trees on the opposite 
side of the lake are of a yellow brown, but there are one 
or two trees opposite our windows (an ash tree, for 
instance) quite green, as in spring. The fields are of 
their winter colour, but the island is as green as ever it 
was. . . . William is writing out his stanzas from 
Ariosto. . . . The evening is quiet. Poor Coleridge ! 
Sara is at Keswick, I hope. ... I have read one 
canto of Ariosto to-day. . . * 

2.4th December. Christmas Eve. William is now 
sitting by me, at half-past ten o'clock. I have been 
. . . repeating some of his sonnets to him, listening to 
his own repeating, reading some of Milton's, and the 
Allegro and Penseroso. It is a, quick, keen frost. . . 
Coleridge came this morning with Wedgwood. We all 
turned out . . . one by one, to meet him. He looked 

vi GRASMERE 157 

well. We had to tell him of the birth of his little girl, 
born yesterday morning at six o'clock. William went 
with them to Wytheburn in the chaise, and M. and I 
met W. on the Raise. It was not an unpleasant morning. 
. . . The sun shone now and then, and there was no 
wind, but all things looked cheerless and distinct ; no 
meltings of sky into mountains, the mountains like stone 
work wrought up with huge hammers. Last Sunday 
was as mild a day as I ever remember. . . . Mary and 
I went round the lakes. There were flowers of various 
kinds the topmost bell of a foxglove, geraniums, 
daisies, a buttercup in the water (but this I saw two or 
three days before), small yellow flowers (I do not know 
their name) in the turf. A large bunch of strawberry 
blossoms. ... It is Christmas Day, Saturday, 25th 
December 1802. I am thirty-one years of age. It is 
a dull, frosty day. 

... On Thursday, 3oth December, I went to Keswick. 
William rode before me to the foot of the hill nearest K. 
There we parted close to a little watercourse, which was 
then noisy with water, but on my return a dry channel. 
. . . We stopped our horse close to the ledge, opposite 
a tuft of primroses, three flowers in full blossom and a 
bud. They reared themselves up among the green 
moss. We debated long whether we should pluck 
them, and at last left them to live out their day, which 
I was right glad of at my return the Sunday following ; 
for there they remained, uninjured either by cold or wet. 
I stayed at Keswick over New Year's Day, and returned 
on Sunday, the 2nd January. . . . William was alarmed 
at my long delay, and came to within three miles of 
Keswick. . . . Coleridge stayed with us till Tuesday, 
January 4th. W. and I ... walked with him to 
Ambleside. We parted with v him at the turning of the 
lane, he going on horseback to the top of Kirkstone. 
On Thursday 6th, C. returned, and on Friday, the 
7th, he and Sara went to Keswick. W. accompanied 
them to the foot of Wytheburn. ... It was a gentle 


day, and when William and I returned home just before 
sunset, it was a heavenly evening. A soft sky was 
among the hills, and a summer sunshine above, and 
blending with this sky, for it was more like sky than 
clouds ; the turf looked warm and soft. 

Monday, January loth 1803. I lay In bed to have 
a drench of sleep till one o'clock. Worked all day. 
. . . Ominously cold. 

Tuesday ', January nth. A very cold day, . . . but 
the blackness of the cold made us slow to put forward, 
and we did not walk at all. Mary read the Prologue to 
Chaucer's tales to me in the morning. William was 
working at his poem to C. Letter from Keswick and 
from Taylor on William's marriage. C. poorly, in bad 
spirits. . . . Read part of The Knighfs Tale with ex- 
quisite delight. Since tea Mary has been down stairs 
copying out Italian poems for Stuart. William has been 
working beside me, and here ends this imperfect 
summary. . . . 




(A.D. 1803) 


JFftst TOerft 



Left Keswick Grisdale 
Mosedale Hesket 

5. Thornhill Drumlanrigg 
River Nith . . . T * TT 

Newmarket Caldbeck 

Turnpike house . 

*/ j - 

Falls .... 


Sportsman .... 


Rose Castle Carlisle Hat- 

Vale of Menock . 


field Longtown 


Wanlockhead . 



Solway Moss Enter Scot- 
land Springfield Gret- 

Leadhills .... 
Miners .... 


na Green Annan Dum- 


Hopetoun mansion 



Burns's Grave 
Ellisland ValeofNith . 
BrownhilL .... 
Poem to Burns's Sons . 

1 66 

6. Road to Crawfordjohn 
Douglas Mill 
Clyde Lanerk . 
Boniton Linn 

>8 7 

Secontr TOsdt 


Falls of the Clyde 

193 Road to Tarbet . 


Cartland Crags . 


The Cobbler 


Fall of Stonebyres Trough 

Tarbet . 

of the Clyde . 


1 2. Left Tarbet for the Trossachs 


Hamilton .... 


Rob Roy's Caves 



Hamilton House. 
Baroncleugh Bothwell 


Inversneyde Ferryhouse and 
. Waterfall.. 

Castle .... 
Glasgow .... 


Singular building 
Loch Ketterine . 



Bleaching ground (Glasgow 

Glengyle .... 


Green) .... 


Mr. Macfarlane's 



Road to Dumbarton . 
Rock and Castle of Dum- 


13. Breakfast at Glengyle 
Lairds of Glengyle Rob 


barton .... 




Vale of Leven 


Burymg-ground . 


Smollett's Monument . 


Ferryman's hut . 


Loch Lomond 


Trossachs .... 



22 X 

Loch Achrav 



Islands of Loch Lomond . 

225 Return to Ferryman's hut . 




SCOTLAND. A.D. 1803 


WILLIAM and I parted from Mary on Sunday afternoon, 
August 1 4th 1803; and William, Coleridge, and I left 
Keswick on Monday morning, the 1 5th, at twenty minutes 
after eleven o'clock. The day was very hot ; we walked 
up the hills, and along all the rough road, which made 
our walking half the day's journey. Travelled under 
the foot of Carrock, a mountain covered with stones on 
the lower part ; above, it is very rocky, but sheep 
pasture there ; we saw several where there seemed to be 
no grass to tempt them. Passed the foot of Grisdale 
and Mosedale, both pastoral valleys, narrow, and soon 
terminating in the mountains green, with scattered 
trees and houses, and each a beautiful stream. At 
Grisdale our horse backed upon a steep bank where the 
road was not fenced, just above a pretty mill at the foot 
of the valley ; and we had a second threatening of a 
disaster in crossing a narrow bridge between the two 
dales ; but this was not the fault of either man or horse. 
Slept at Mr. Younghusband's public -house, Hesket 
Newmarket. In the evening walked to Caldbeck Falls, 
a delicious spot in which to breathe out a summer's day 
limestone rocks, hanging trees, pools, and water- 
breaks caves and caldrons which have been honoured 
with fairy names, and no doubt continue in the fancy of 
the neighbourhood to> resound with fairy revels. 


Tuesday, August i6//z. Passed Rose Castle upon 
the Caldew, an ancient building of red stone with sloping 
gardens, an ivied gateway, velvet lawns, old garden walls, 
trim flower-borders with stately and luxuriant flowers. 
We walked up to trie house and stood some minutes 
watching the swallows that flew about restlessly, and 
flung their shadows upon the sunbright walls of the old 
building ; the shadows glanced and twinkled, inter- 
changed and crossed each other, expanded and shrunk 
up, appeared and disappeared every instant ; as I 
observed to William and Coleridge, seeming more like 
living things than the birds themselves. Dined at 
Carlisle ; the town in a bustle with the assizes ; so many 
strange faces known in former times and recognised, 
that it half seemed as if I ought to know them all, and, 
together with the noise, the fine ladies, etc., they put 
me into confusion. This day Hatfield was condemned. 
I stood at the door of the gaoler's house, where he was ; 
William entered the house, and Coleridge saw him ; I 
fell into conversation with a debtor, who told me in a 
dry way that he was "far over-learned, 53 and another 
man observed to William that we might learn from 
Hatfield's fate "not to meddle with pen and ink." We 
gave a shilling to my companion, whom we found out to 
be a friend of the family, a fellow-sailor with my brother 
John "in Captain Wordsworth's ship." Walked upon 
the city walls, which are broken down in places and 
crumbling away, and most disgusting from filth. The 
city and neighbourhood of Carlisle disappointed me ; 
the banks of the river quite flat, and, though the holms 
are rich, there is not much beauty in the vale from the 
want of trees at least to the eye of a person corning 
from England, and, I scarcely know how, but to me the 
holms had not a natural look ; there was something 
townish in their appearance, a dulness in their strong 
deep green. To Longtown not very interesting*, except 
from the long views over the flat country ; the road 
rough, chiefly newly mended. Reached Longtown after 


sunset, a town of brick houses belonging chiefly to the 
Graham family. Being in the form of a cross and not 
long, it had been better called Crosstown. There are 
several shops, and it is not a very small place ; but I 
could not meet with a silver thimble, and bought a half- 
penny brass one. Slept at the Graham's Arms, a large 
inn. Here, as everywhere else, the people seemed 
utterly insensible of the enormity of Hatfield 3 s. offences ; 
the ostler told William that he was quite a gentleman, 
paid every one genteelly, etc. etc. He and " Mary 5; had 
walked together to Gretna Green ; a heavy rain came 
on when they were there ; a returned chaise happened to 
pass, and the driver would have taken them up ; but 
" Mr. Hope's " carriage was to be sent for ; he did not 
choose to accept the chaise-driver's offer. 

Wednesday, August ijtk. Left Longtown after 
breakfast About half a mile from the town a guide- 
post and two roads, to Edinburgh and Glasgow ; we 
took the left-hand road, to Glasgow. Here saw a 
specimen of the luxuriance of the heath-plant, as it grows 
in Scotland ; it was in the enclosed plantations perhaps 
sheltered by them. These plantations appeared to be 
not well grown for their age; the trees were stunted. 
Afterwards the road, treeless, over a peat-moss common 
the Sol way Moss ; here and there an earth-built hut 
with its peat stack, a scanty growing willow hedge round 
the kail-garth, perhaps the cow pasturing near, a little 
lass watching it, the dreary waste cheered by the 
endless singing of larks. 

We enter Scotland by crossing the river Sark ; on 
the Scotch side of the bridge the ground is unenclosed 
pasturage ; it was very green, and scattered over with 
that yellow flowered plant which we call grunsel ; the 
hills heave and swell prettily enough ; cattle feeding ; a 
few corn fields near the river. At the top of the hill 
opposite is Springfield, a village built by Sir William 
Maxwell a dull uniformity in the houses, as is usual 
when all built at one time, or belonging to one individual, 


each just big enough for two people to live in, and In 
which a family, large or small as it may happen, is 
crammed. There the marriages are performed. Further 
on, though almost contiguous, is Gretna Green, upon a 
hill and among trees. This sounds well, but it is^ a 
dreary place ; the stone houses dirty and miserable, with 
broken windows. There is a pleasant view from the 
churchyard over Solway Firth to the Cumberland 
mountains. Dined at Annan. On our left as we 
travelled along appeared the Solway Firth and the 
mountains beyond, but the near country dreary. Those 
houses by the roadside which are built of stone are 
comfortless and dirty ; but we peeped into a clay 
" biggin " that was very " canny," and I daresay will be 
as warm as a swallow's nest in winter. The town of 
Annan made me think of France and Germany ; many 
of the houses large and gloomy, the size of them out- 
running the comforts. One thing which was like 
Germany pleased me: the shopkeepers express their 
calling by some device or painting ; bread-bakers have 
biscuits, loaves, cakes, painted on their window-shutters ; 
blacksmiths horses 7 shoes, iron tools, etc. etc. ; and so 
on through all trades. 

Reached Dumfries at about nine o'clock market- 
day ; met crowds of people on the road, and every one 
had a smile for us and our car. . . . The inn was a 
large house, and tolerably comfortable ; Mr. Rogers and 
his sister, whom we had seen at our own cottage at 
Grasmere a few days before, had arrived there that same 
afternoon on their way to the Highlands ; but we did 
not see them till the next morning, and only for about a 
quarter of an hour. 

Thursday ', August i%th. Went to the churchyard 
where Burns is buried. A bookseller accompanied 
us. He showed us the outside of Burns's house, where 
he had lived the last three years of his life, and where 
he died. It has a mean appearance, and is in a bye 
situation, whitewashed ; dirty about the doors, as 


almost all Scotch houses are ; flowering plants in the 

Went on to visit his grave. He lies at a corner of 
the churchyard, and his second son, Francis Wallace, 
beside him. There is no stone to mark the spot ; but 
a hundred guineas have been collected, to be expended 
on some sort of monument. "There," said the book- 
seller, pointing to a pompous monument, "there lies 
Mr. Such -a- one" I have forgotten his name, "a 
remarkably clever man ; he was an attorney, and hardly 
ever lost a cause he undertook. Burns made many a 
lampoon upon him, and there they rest, as you see." We 
looked at the grave with melancholy and painful reflec- 
tions, repeating to each other his own verses ; 

Is there a man whose judgment clear 
Can others teach the course to steer, 
Yet runs himself life's mad career 

Wild as the wave ? 
Here let him pause, and through a tear 

Survey this grave. 

The poor Inhabitant below 

Was quick to learn, and wise to know 

And keenly felt the friendly glow 

And softer flame ; 
But thoughtless follies laid him low, 

And stain'd his name. 

The churchyard is full of grave-stones and expensive 
monuments in all sorts of fantastic shapes obelisk- wise, 
pillar-wise, etc. In speaking of Gretna Green, I forgot 
to mention that we visited the churchyard. The 
church is like a huge house ; indeed, so are all the 
churches, with a steeple, not a square tower or spire, a 
sort of thing more like a glass-house chimney than a 
Church of England steeple ; grave-stones in abundance, 
few verses, yet there were some no texts. Over the 
graves of married women the maiden name instead of 
that of the husband, " spouse " instead of " wife," and the 
place of abode preceded by " in " instead of " of." When 


our guide had left us, we turned again to Burns's house. 
Mrs. Burns was gone to spend some time by the sea- 
shore with her children. We spoke to the servant-maid 
at the door, who invited us forward, and we sate down 
in the parlour. The walls were coloured with a blue 
wash ; on one side of the fire was a mahogany desk, 
opposite to the window a clock, and over the desk a 
print from the Cotters Saturday Night, which Burns 
mentions in one of his letters having received _ as a 
present. The house was cleanly and neat in the inside, 
the stairs of stone, scoured white, the kitchen on the 
right side of the passage, the parlour on the left. In 
the room above the parlour the poet died, and his son 
after him in the same room. The servant told us she 
had lived five years with Mrs. Bums, who was now in 
great sorrow for the death of "Wallace/"' She said 
that Mrs. Burns's youngest son was at Christ's Hospital. 
We were glad to leave Dumfries, which is no 
agreeable place to them who do not love the bustle of a 
town that seems to be rising up to wealth. We could 
think of little else but poor Burns, and his moving- about 
on that unpoetic ground. In our road to Brownhill, the 
next stage, we passed Ellisland at a little distance on our 
right, his farmhouse. We might there have had more 
pleasure in looking round, if we had been nearer to the 
spot ; but there is no thought surviving in connexion 
with Burns's daily life that is not heart-depressing. 
Travelled through the vale of Nith, here little like a 
vale, it is so broad, with irregular hills rising up on each 
side, in outline resembling the old-fashioned valances of 
a bed. There is a great deal of arable land ; the corn 
ripe ; trees here and there plantations, clumps, coppices, 
and a newness in everything. So much of the gorse and 
broom rooted out that you wonder why it is not all gone, 
and yet there seems to be almost as much gorse and 
broom as corn ; and they grow one among another you 
know not how. Crossed the Nith ; the vale becomes 
narrow, and very pleasant ; corn fields, green hills, clay 


cottages ; the river's bed rocky, with woody banks. Left 
the Nith about a mile and a half, and reached Brownhill, 
a lonely inn, where we slept. The view from the 
windows was pleasing, though some travellers might 
have been disposed to quarrel with it for its general 
nakedness ; yet there was abundance of corn. It is an 
open country open, yet all over hills. At a little 
distance were many cottages among trees, that looked 
very pretty. Brownhill is about seven or eight miles 
from Ellisland. I fancied to myself, while I was sitting 
in the parlour, that Burns might have caroused there, for 
most likely his rounds extended so far, and this thought 
gave a melancholy interest to the smoky walls. It was 
as pretty a room as a thoroughly dirty one could be a 
square parlour painted green, but so covered over with 
smoke and dirt that it looked not unlike green seen 
through black gauze. There were three windows, 
looking three ways, a buffet ornamented with tea-cups, 
a superfine largeish looking-glass with gilt ornaments 
spreading far and wide, the glass spotted with dirt, some 
ordinary alehouse pictures, and above the chimney-piece 
a print in a much better style as William guessed, 
taken from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds of some 
lady of quality, in the character of Euphrosyne. " Ay," 
said the servant-girl, seeing that we looked at it,"" there's 
many travellers would give a deal for that, it's more 
admired than any in the house. 53 We could not but 
smile ; for the rest were such as may be found in the 
basket of any Italian image and picture hawker. 

William and I walked out after dinner ; Coleridge 
was not well, and slept upon the carriage cushions. We 
made our way to the cottages among the little hills and 
knots of wood, and then saw what a delightful country 
this part of Scotland might be made by planting forest 
trees. The ground all over heaves and swells like a 
sea ; but for miles there are neither trees nor hedgerows, 
only " mound " fences and tracts ; or slips of corn, 
potatoes, clover with hay between, and barren land ; 


but near the cottages many hills and hillocks covered 
with wood. We passed some fine trees, and ^ paused 
under the shade of one close by an old mansion that 
seemed from its neglected state to be inhabited by 
farmers. But I must say that many of the "gentlemen's " 
houses which we have passed in Scotland have an air of 
neglect, and even of desolation. It was a beech, in the full 
glory of complete and perfect growth, very tall, with one 
thick stem mounting to a considerable height, which was 
split into four "thighs/' as Coleridge afterwards called 
them, each in size a fine tree. Passed another mansion, 
now tenanted by a schoolmaster; many boys playing 
upon the lawn. I cannot take leave of the country which 
we passed through to-day, without mentioning that we 
saw the Cumberland mountains within half a mile of 
Ellisland, Burns's house, the last view we had of them. 
Drayton has prettily described the connexion which 
this neighbourhood has with ours when he makes Skiddaw 

Scurfell 1 from the sky, 

That Anadale 2 doth crown, with a most amorous eye, 
Salutes me every day, or at my pride looks grim, 
Oft threatening me with clouds, as I oft threat'ning him. 

These lines recurred to William's memory, and we 
talked of Burns, and of the prospect he must have had, 
perhaps from his own door, of Skiddaw and his com- 
panions, indulging ourselves in the fancy that we might 
have been personally known to each other, and he have 
looked upon those objects with more pleasure for our 
sakes. We talked of Coleridge's children and family, 
then at the foot of Skiddaw, and our own new-born 
John a few miles behind it ; while the grave of Burns's 
son, which we had just seen by the side of his father, 
and some stories heard at Dumfries respecting the 
dangers his surviving children were exposed to, filled us 

^ CriffeL J. C. S. 2 Annandale. J. C. S. 


with melancholy concern, which had a kind of connexion 
with ourselves. In recollection of this, William long 
afterwards wrote the following Address to the sons of 
the ill-fated poet : 

Ye now are panting up life's hill, 
'Tis twilight time of good and ill, 
And more than common strength and skill 

Must ye display, 
If ye would give the better will 

Its lawful sway. 

Strong-bodied if ye be to bear 
Intemperance with less harm, beware, 
But if your Father's wit ye share, 

Then, then indeed, 
Ye Sons of Bums, for watchful care 

There will be need. 

For honest men delight will take 
To shew you favour for his sake, 
Will flatter you, and Fool and Rake 

Your steps pursue, 
And of your Father's name will make 

A snare for you. 

Let no mean hope your souls enslave, 
Be independent, generous, brave ; 
Your Father such example gave, 

And such revere, 
But be admonished by his grave, 

And think and fear. 

Friday , August iqth. Open country for a consider- 
able way. Passed through the village of Thornhill, 
built by the Duke of Queensberry ; the " brother-houses " 
so small that they might have been built to stamp a 
character of insolent pride on his own huge mansion of 
Drumlanrigg, which is full in view on the opposite side 
of the Nith. This mansion is indeed very large ; but to 
us it appeared like a gathering together of little things. 
The roof is broken into a hundred pieces, cupolas, etc., 
in the shape of casters, conjuror's balls, cups, and the 


like. The situation would be noble if the woods had 
been left standing ; but they have been cut down not 
long ago, and the hills above and below the house are 
quite bare. About a mile and a half from Drumlanrigg 
is a turnpike gate at the top of a hill. We left our car 
with the man, and turned aside into a field where we 
looked down upon the Nith, which runs far below in a 
deep and rocky channel ; the banks woody ; the view 
pleasant down the river towards Thomhill, an open 
country corn fields, pastures, and scattered trees. Re- 
turned to the turnpike house, a cold spot upon a common, 
black cattle feeding close to the door. Our road led us 
down the hill to the side of the Nith, and we travelled 
along its banks for some miles. Here were clay cottages 
perhaps every half or quarter of a mile. The bed of the 
stream rough with rocks ; banks irregular, now woody, 
now bare ; here a patch of broom, there of corn, then of 
pasturage ; and hills green or heathy above. We were 
to have given our horse meal and water at a public-house 
in one of the hamlets we passed through, but missed the 
house, for, as is common in Scotland, it was without a 
sign-board. Travelled on, still beside the Nith, till we 
came to a turnpike house, which stood rather high on 
the hill-side, and from the door we looked a long way 
up and down the river. The air coldish, the wind 

We asked the turnpike man to let us have some meal 
and water. He had no meal, but luckily we had part of 
a feed of corn brought from Keswick, and he procured 
some hay at a neighbouring house. In the meantime I 
went into the house, where was an old man with a grey 
plaid over his shoulders, reading a newspaper. On the 
shelf lay a volume of the Scotch Encyclopaedia, a 
History of England, and some other books. The old 
man was a caller by the way. The man of the house 
came back, and we began to talk. He was very in- 
telligent ; had travelled all over England, Scotland, and 
Ireland as a gentleman's servant, and now lived alone 


in that lonesome place. He said he was tired of his 
bargain, for he feared he should lose by it. And he had 
indeed a troublesome office, for coal-carts without number 
were passing by, and the drivers seemed to do their 
utmost to cheat him. There is always something 
peculiar in the house of a man living alone. This was 
but half-furnished, yet nothing seemed wanting for his 
comfort, though a female who had travelled half as far 
would have needed fifty other things. He had no other 
meat or drink in the house but oat bread and cheese 
the cheese was made with the addition of seeds and 
some skimmed milk. He gave us of his bread and 
cheese, and milk, which proved to be sour. 

We had yet ten or eleven miles to travel, and no 
food with us. William lay under the wind in a corn- 
field below the house, being not well enough, to partake 
of the milk and bread. Coleridge gave our host a 
pamphlet, " The Crisis of the Sugar Colonies " ; he was 
well acquainted with Burns's poems. There was a 
politeness and a manly freedom in this man's manners 
which pleased me very much. He told us that he had 
served a gentleman, a captain in the army he did not 
know who he was, for none of his relations had ever 
come to see him, but he used to receive many letters 
that he had lived near Dumfries till they would let him 
stay no longer, he made such havoc with the game ; his 
whole delight from morning till night, and the long year 
through, was in field sports ; he would be 'on his feet 
the worst days in winter, and wade through snow up to 
the middle after his game. If he had company he was 
in tortures till they were gone ; he would then throw off 
his coat and put on an old jacket not worth half-a-crown. 
He drank his bottle of wine every day, and two if he 
had better sport than usual. Ladies sometimes came 
to stay with his wife, and he often carried them out in 
an Irish jaunting-car, and if they vexed him he would 
choose the dirtiest roads possible, and spoil their clothes 
by jumping in and out of the car, and treading upon 


them. "But for all that 5 ' and so he ended all "he 
was a good fellow, and a clever fellow, and he liked him 
well. 35 He would have ten or a dozen hares in the larder 
at once, he half maintained his family with game, and 
he himself was very fond of eating of the spoil unusual 
with true heart-and-soul sportsmen. 

The man gave us an account of his farm where he 
had lived, which was so cheap and pleasant that we 
thought we should have liked to have had it ourselves. 
Soon after leaving the turnpike house we turned up a 
hill to the right, the road for a little way very steep, 
bare hills, with sheep. 

After ascending a little while we heard the murmur 
of a stream far below us, and saw it flowing downwards 
on our left, towards the Nith, and before us, between 
steep green hills, coming along a winding valley. The 
simplicity of the prospect impressed us very much. 
There was a single cottage by the brook side ; the dell 
was not heathy, but it was impossible not to think of 
Peter BelTs Highland Girl. 

We now felt indeed that we were in Scotland ; there 
was a natural peculiarity in this place. In the scenes 
of the Nith It had not been the same as England, but 
yet not simple, naked Scotland. The road led us down 
the hill, and now there was no room in the vale but for 
the river and the road; we had sometimes the stream 
to the right, sometimes to the left. The hills were 
pastoral, but we did not see many sheep ; green smooth 
turf on the left, no ferns. On the right the heath-plant 
grew in abundance, of the most exquisite colour ; it 
covered a whole hill-side, or it was in streams and 
patches. We travelled along the vale without appearing 
to ascend for some miles ; all the reaches were beautiful, 
in exquisite proportion, the hills seeming very high from 
being so near to us. It might have seemed a valley 
which nature had kept to herself for pensive thoughts 
and tender feelings, but that we were reminded at every 
turning of the road of something beyond by the coal- 


carts which were travelling towards us. Though these 
carts broke in upon the tranquillity of the glen, they 
added much to the picturesque effect of the different 
views, which indeed wanted nothing, though perfectly 
bare, houseless, and treeless. 

After some time our road took us upwards towards 
the end of the valley. Now the steeps were heathy all 
around. Just as we began to climb the hill we saw 
three boys who came down the cleft of a brow on our 
left ; one carried a fishing-rod, and the hats of all were 
braided with honeysuckles ; they ran after one another as 
wanton as the wind. I cannot express what a character 
of beauty those few honeysuckles in the hats of the three 
boys gave to the place : what bower could they have 
come from ? We walked up the hill, met two well- 
dressed travellers, the woman barefoot. Our little lads 
before they had gone far were joined by some half-dozen 
of their companions, all without shoes and stockings. 
They told us they lived at Wanlockhead, the village 
above, pointing to the top of the hill ; they went to 
school and learned Latin, Virgil, and some of them 
Greek, Homer, but when Coleridge began to inquire 
further, off they ran, poor things 1 I suppose afraid of 
being examined. 

When, after a steep ascent, we had reached the top 
of the hill, we saw a village about half a mile before us 
on the side of another hill, which rose up above the 
spot where we were, after a descent, a sort of valley or 
hollow. Nothing grew upon this ground, or the hills 
above or below, but heather, yet round about the village 
which consisted of a great number of huts, all alike, 
and all thatched, with a few larger slated houses among 
them, and a single modern-built one of a considerable 
size were a hundred patches of cultivated ground, 
potatoes, oats, hay, and grass. We were struck with 
the sight of haycocks fastened down with aprons, sheets, 
pieces of sacking as we supposed, to prevent the wind 
from blowing them away. We afterwards found that 


this practice was very general in Scotland. Every 
cottage seemed to have its little plot of ground, fenced 
by a ridge of earth ; this plot contained two or three 
different divisions, kail, potatoes, oats, hay ; the houses 
all standing in lines, or never far apart ; the cultivated 
ground was all together also, and made a very strange 
appearance with its many greens among the dark brown 
hills, neither tree nor shrub growing ; yet the grass and 
the potatoes looked greener than elsewhere, owing to 
the bareness of the neighbouring hills ; it was indeed a 
wild and singular spot to use a woman's illustration, 
like a collection of patchwork, made of pieces as they 
might have chanced to have been cut by the mantua- 
maker, only just smoothed to fit each other, the different 
sorts of produce being in such a multitude of plots, and 
those so small and of such irregular shapes. Add to 
the strangeness of the village itself, that we had been 
climbing upwards, though gently, for many miles, and 
for the last mile and a half up a steep ascent, and did 
not know of any village till we saw the boys who had 
come out to play. The air was very cold, and one could 
not help thinking what it must be in winter, when those 
hills, now " red brown, 3 ' should have their three months 3 
covering of snow. 

The village, as we guessed, is inhabited by miners ; 
the mines belong to the Duke of Oueensberry. The 
road to the village, down which the lads scampered 
away, was straight forward. I must mention that we 
met, just after we had parted from them, another little 
fellow, about six years old, carrying a bundle over his 
shoulder; he seemed poor and half starved, and was 
scratching his fingers, which were covered with the itch. 
He was a miner's son, and lived at Wanlockhead ; did 
not go to school, but this was probably on account of 
his youth. I mention him because he seemed to be a 
proof that there was poverty and wretchedness among 
these people, though we saw no other symptom of it ; 
and afterwards we met scores of the inhabitants of this 


same village. Our road turned to the right, and \ve 
saw. at the distance of less than a mile, a tall upright 
building of grey stone, with several men standing upon 
the roof, as if they were looking out over battlements. 
It stood beyond the village, upon higher ground, as if 
presiding over it, a kind of enchanter's castle, which 
it might have been, a place where Don Quixote would 
have gloried in. When we drew nearer we saw, coming 
out of the side of the building, a large machine or lever, 
in appearance like a great forge-hammer, as we supposed 
for raising water out of the mines. It heaved upwards 
once In half a minute with a slow motion, and seemed 
to rest to take breath at the bottom, its motion being 
accompanied with a sound between a groan and u jike. 3: 
There would have been something in this object very 
striking in any place, as it was impossible not to invest 
the machine with some faculty of intellect ; it seemed 
to have made the first step from brute matter to life and 
purpose, showing its progress by great power. William 
made a remark to this effect, and Coleridge observed 
that it was like a giant with one idea. At all events, 
the object produced a striking effect in that place, 
where everything was in unison with it particularly the 
building itself, which was turret -shaped, and with the 
figures upon it resembled much one of the fortresses in 
the wooden cuts of Bunyan's Holy War. 

After ascending a considerable way we began to 
descend again ; and now we met a team of horses drag- 
ging an immense tree to the lead mines, to repair or add 
to the building, and presently after we came to a cart, 
with another large tree, and one horse left in it, right in 
the middle of the highway. We were a little out of 
humour, thinking we must wait till the team came back. 
There were men and boys without number all staring at 
us ; after a little consultation they set their shoulders to 
the cart, and with a good heave all at once they moved 
it, and we passed along. These people were decently 
dressed, and their manners decent ; there was no hooting 



or impudent laughter. Leadhills, another mining village, 
was the place of our destination for the night ; and soon 
after we had passed the cart we came in sight of it. 
This village and the mines belong to Lord Hopetoun ; 
it has more stone houses than Wanlockhead, one large 
old mansion, and a considerable number of old trees 
beeches, I believe. The trees told of the coldness of the 
climate ; they were more brown than green far browner 
than the ripe grass of the little hay-garths. Here, as at 
Wanlockhead, were haycocks, hay-stacks, potato-beds, 
and kail-garths in every possible variety of shape, but, I 
suppose from the irregularity of the ground, it looked far 
less artificial indeed, I should think that a painter might 
make several beautiful pictures in this village. It 
straggles down both sides of a mountain glen. As I 
have said, there is a large mansion. There is also a 
stone building that looks like a school, and the houses 
are single, or in clusters, or rows as it may chance. 

We passed a decent-looking inn, the Hopetoun Arms ; 
but the house of Mrs. Otto, a widow, had been recom- 
mended to us with high encomiums. We did not then 
understand Scotch inns, and were not quite satisfied at 
first with our accommodations, but all things were 
smoothed over by degrees ; we had a fire lighted in our 
dirty parlour, tea came after a reasonable waiting ; and 
the fire with the gentle aid of twilight, burnished up the 
room into cheerful comfort Coleridge was weary ; but 
William and I walked out after tea. We talked with 
one of the miners, who informed us that the building 
which we had supposed to be a school was a library 
belonging to the village. He said they had got a book 
into it a few weeks ago, which had cost thirty pounds, 
and that they had all sorts of books. " What ! have 
you Shakespeare?" "Yes, we have that," and we 
found, on further inquiry, that they had a large library, 
of long standing, that Lord Hopetoun had subscribed 
liberally to it, and that gentlemen who came with him 
were in the habit of making larger or smaller donations. 


Each man who had the benefit of it paid a small sum 
monthly I think about fourpence. 

The man we talked with spoke much of the comfort 
and quiet in which they lived one among another ; he 
made use of a noticeable expression, saying that they 
were " very peaceable people considering they lived so 
much under-ground " ; wages were about thirty pounds 
a year ; they had land for potatoes, warm houses, plenty 
of coals, and only six hours' work each day, so that they 
had leisure for reading if they chose. He said the place 
was healthy, that the inhabitants lived to a great age ; 
and indeed we saw no appearance of ill-health in their 
countenances ; but it is not common for people working 
in lead mines to be healthy; and I have since heard 
that it is not a healthy place. However this may be, 
they are unwilling to allow it ; for the landlady the next 
morning, when I said to her " You have a cold climate," 
replied, "Ay, but it is varra halesome" We inquired 
of the man respecting the large mansion ; he told us that 
it was built, as we might see, in the form of an H, and 
belonged to the Hopetouns, and they took their title 
from thence, 1 and that part of it was used as a chapel. 
We went close to it, and were a good deal amused with 
the building itself, standing forth in bold contradiction 
of the story which I daresay every man of Leadhills tells, 
and every man believes, that it is in the shape of an H ; 
it is but half an H, and one must be very accommodat- 
ing to allow it even so much, for the legs are far too 

We visited the burying-ground, a plot of land not 
very small, crowded with graves, and upright grave- 
stones, over-looking the village and the dell. It was now 
the closing in of evening. Women and children were 
gathering in the linen for the night, which was bleaching 

1 There is some mistake here. The Hopetoun title was not 
taken from any place in the Leadhills, much less from the house 
shaped like an H. J. C. S. 


by the burn-side ; the graves overgrown with grass, 
such as, by industrious culture, had been raised up about 
the houses ; but there were bunches of heather here and 
there, and with the blue-bells that grew among the grass 
the small plot of ground had a beautiful and wild 

William left me, and I went to a shop to purchase 
some thread ; the woman had none that suited me but 
she would send a " wee lad " to the other shop. In the 
meantime I sat with the mother, and was much pleased 
with her manner and conversation. She had an excellent 
fire, and her cottage, though very small, looked comfort- 
able and cleanly ; but remember I saw it only by firelight 
She confirmed what the man had told us of the quiet 
manner in which they lived ; and indeed her bouse and 
fireside seemed to need nothing to make it a cheerful 
happy spot, but health and good humour. There was 
a bookishness, a certain formality in this woman's 
language, which was very remarkable. She had a dark 
complexion, dark eyes, and wore a very white cap, much 
over her face, which gave her the look of a French 
woman, and indeed afterwards the women on the roads 
frequently reminded us of French women, partly from 
the extremely white caps of the elder women, and still 
more perhaps from a certain gaiety and party-coloured 
appearance in their dress in general. White bed-gowns 
are very common, and you rarely meet a young girl with 
either hat or cap ; they buckle up their hair often in a 
graceful manner. 

I returned to the inn, and went into the kitchen to 
speak with the landlady ; she had made a hundred 
hesitations when I told her we wanted three beds. At 
last she confessed she had three beds, and showed me 
into a parlour which looked damp and cold, but she as- 
sured me in a tone that showed she was unwilling" to be 
questioned further, that all her beds were well aired. 
I sat a while by the kitchen fire with the landlady, and 
began to talk to her ; but, much as I had heard in her 


praise for the shopkeeper had told me she was a varra 
discreet woman I cannot say that her manners pleased 
me much. But her servant made amends, for she was 
as pleasant and cheerful a lass as was ever seen ; and 
when we asked her to do anything, she answered, " Oh 
yes," with a merry smile, and almost ran to get us what 
we wanted. She was about sixteen years old: wore 
shoes and stockings, and had her hair tucked up with a 
comb. The servant at Brownhill was a coarse-looking 
wench, barefoot and bare -legged. I examined the 
kitchen round about; it was crowded with furniture, 
drawers, cupboards, dish- covers, pictures, pans, and 
pots, arranged without order, except that the plates were 
on shelves, and the dish-covers hung in rows ; these 
were very clean, but floors, passages, staircase, every- 
thing else dirty. There were two beds in recesses in 
the wall ; above one of them I noticed a shelf with some 
books : it made me think of Chaucer's Clerke of 
Oxenforde : 

Liever had he at his bed's head 
Twenty books clothed in black and red. 

They were baking oat-bread, which they cut into 
quarters, and half-baked over the fire, and half-toasted 
before it There was a suspiciousness about Mrs. Otto, 
almost like ill-nature ; she was very jealous of any 
inquiries that might appear to be made with the faintest 
idea of a comparison between Leadhills and any other 
place, except the advantage was evidently on the side of 
Leadhills, We had nice honey to breakfast. When 
ready to depart, we learned that we might have seen the 
library, which we had not thought of till it was too late, 
and we were very sorry to go away without seeing it. 

Saturday, August 202^. Left Leadhills at nine 
o'clock, regretting much that we could not stay another 
day, that we might have made more minute inquiries re- 
specting the manner of living of the miners, and been 
able to form an estimate, from our own observation, of the 


degree of knowledge, health, and comfort that there was 
among them. The air was keen and cold ; we might 
have supposed it to be three months later in the season 
and two hours earlier in the day. The landlady had 
not lighted us a fire; so I was obliged to get myself 
toasted in the kitchen, and when we set off I put on 
both grey cloak and spencer. 

Our road carried us down the valley, and we soon 
lost sight of Leadhills, for the valley made a turn almost 
immediately, and we saw two miles, perhaps, before us ; 
the glen sloped somewhat rapidly heathy, bare, no hut 
or house. Passed by a shepherd, who was sitting upon 
the ground, reading, with the book on his knee, screened 
from the wind by his plaid, while a flock of sheep were 
feeding near him among the rushes and coarse grass 
for, as we descended we came among lands where grass 
grew with the heather. Travelled through several 
reaches of the glen, which somewhat resembled the 
valley of Menock on the other side of Wanlockhead ; 
but it was not near so beautiful ; the forms of the 
mountains did not melt so exquisitely into each other, 
and there was a coldness, and, if I may so speak, a 
want of simplicity in the surface of the earth ; the heather 
was poor, not covering a whole hill-side ; not in luxuriant 
streams and beds interveined with rich verdure ; but 
patchy and stunted, with here and there coarse grass 
and rushes. But we soon came in sight of a spot that 
impressed us very much. At the lower end of this new 
reach of the vale was a decayed tree, beside a decayed 
cottage, the vale spreading out into a level area which 
was one large field, without fence and without division, 
of a dull yellow colour ; the vale seemed to partake of 
the desolation of the cottage, and to participate in its 
decay. And yet the spot was in its nature so dreary that 
one would rather have wondered how it ever came to be 
tenanted by man, than lament that it was left to waste 
and solitude. Yet the encircling hills were so exquisitely 
formed that it was impossible to conceive anything more 


lovely than this place would have been if the valley and 
hill-sides had been interspersed with trees, cottages, 
green fields, and hedgerows. But all was desolate ; the 
one large field which filled up the area of the valley 
appeared, as I have said, in decay, and seemed to retain 
the memory of its connexion with man in some way 
analogous to the ruined building ; for it was as much of 
a field as Mr. King's best pasture scattered over with his 
fattest cattle. 

We went on, looking before us, the place losing 
nothing of its hold upon our minds, when we discovered 
a woman sitting right in the middle of the field, alone, 
wrapped up in a grey cloak or plaid. She sat motionless 
all the time we looked at her, which might be nearly 
half an hour. We could not conceive why she sat there, 
for there were neither sheep nor cattle in the field ; her 
appearance was very melancholy. In the meantime our 
road carried us nearer to the cottage, though we were 
crossing over the hill to the left, leaving the valley below 
us, and we perceived that a part of the building was 
inhabited, and that what we had supposed to be one 
blasted tree was eight trees, four of which were entirely 
blasted ; the others partly so, and round about the place 
was a little potato and cabbage garth, fenced with earth. 
No doubt, that woman had been an inhabitant of the 
cottage. However this might be, there was so much 
obscurity and uncertainty about her, and her figure 
agreed so well with the desolation of the place, that we 
were indebted to the chance of her being there for some 
of the most interesting feelings that we had ever had 
from natural objects connected with man in dreary 

We had been advised to go along the new road, 
which would have carried us down the vale ; but we 
met some travellers who recommended us to climb the 
hill, and go by the village of Crawford] ohn as being 
much nearer. We had a long hill, and after having 
reached the top, steep and bad roads, so we continued 


to walk for a considerable way. The air was cold and 
clear the sky blue. We walked cheerfully along in 
the sunshine, each of us alone, only William had the 
charge of the horse and car, so he sometimes took a 
ride, which did but poorly recompense him for the 
trouble of driving. I never travelled with more cheerful 
spirits than this day. Our road was along the side of a 
high moor. I can always walk over a moor with a light 
foot ; I seem to be drawn more closely to nature in such 
places than anywhere else ; or rather I feel more strongly 
the power of nature over me, and am better satisfied 
with myself for being able to find enjoyment in what 
unfortunately to many persons is either dismal or insipid. 
This moor, however, was more than commonly interest- 
ing ; we could see a long way, and on every side of us 
were larger or smaller tracts of cultivated land Some 
were extensive forms, yet in so large a waste they did 
but look small, with farm-houses, barns, etc., others 
like little cottages, with enough to feed a cow, and 
supply the family with vegetables. In looking at these 
farms we had always one feeling. Why did the plough 
stop there ? Why might not they as well have carried 
it twice as far ? There were no hedgerows near the 
farms, and very few trees. As we were passing along, 
we saw an old man, the first we had seen in a Highland 
bonnet, walking with a staff at a very slow pace by the 
edge of one of the moorland corn-fields ; he wore a grey 
plaid, and a dog was by his side. There was a scriptural 
solemnity in this man's figure, a sober simplicity which 
was most impressive. Scotland is the country above all 
others that I have seen, in which a man of imagination 
may carve out his own pleasures. There are so many 
inhabited solitudes, and the employments of the people 
are so immediately connected with the places where you 
find them, and their dresses so simple, so much alike, 
yet, from their being folding garments, admitting of an 
endless variety, and falling often so gracefully. 

After some time we descended towards a broad vale, 


passed one farm-house, sheltered by fir trees, with a 
burn close to it ; children playing, linen bleaching. The 
vale was open pastures and corn-fields unfenced, the 
land poor. The village of Crawfordjohn on the slope of 
a hill a long way before us to the left. Asked about our 
road of a man who was driving a cart ; he told us to go 
through the village, then along some fields, and we 
should come to a " herd's house by the burn side." The 
highway was right through the vale, unfenced on either 
side ; the people of the village, who were making hay, 
all stared at us and our carriage. We inquired the road 
of a middle-aged man, dressed in a shabby black coat, 
at work in one of the hay fields ; he looked like the 
minister of the place, and when he spoke we felt assured 
that he was so, for he was not sparing of hard words, 
which, however, he used with great propriety, and he 
spoke like one who had been accustomed to dictate. 
Our car wanted mending in the wheel, and we asked 
him if there was a blacksmith in the village. "Yes," he 
replied, but when we showed him the wheel he told 
William that he might mend it himself without a black- 
smith, and he would put him in the way ; so he fetched 
hammer and nails and gave his directions, which 
William obeyed, and repaired the damage entirely to his 
own satisfaction and the priest's, who did not offer to 
lend any assistance himself ; not as if he would not have 
been willing in case of need ; but as if it were more 
natural for him to dictate, and because he thought it 
more fit that William should do it himself. He spoke 
much about the propriety of every man's lending all the 
assistance in his power to travellers, and with some 
ostentation of self-praise. Here I observed a honey- 
suckle and some flowers growing in a garden, the first I 
had seen in Scotland. It is a pretty cheerful-looking 
village, but must be very cold in winter ; it stands on a 
hillside, and the vale itself is very high ground, un- 
sheltered by trees. 

Left the village behind us, and our road led through 


irable ground for a considerable way, on which were 
growing very good crops of corn and potatoes. Our 
friend accompanied us to show us the way, and Coleridge 
and he had a scientific conversation concerning the uses 
and properties of lime and other manures. He seemed 
to be a well-informed man ; somewhat pedantic in his 
manners ; but this might be only the difference between 
Scotch and English. 1 

Soon after he had parted from us, we came upon a 
stony, rough road over a black moor ; and presently to 
the " herd's house by the burn side." We could hardly 
cross the burn dry-shod, over which was the only road to 
the cottage. In England there would have been 
stepping-stones or a bridge ; but the Scotch need not be 
afraid of wetting their bare feet The hut had its little 
kail-garth fenced with earth; there was no other 
enclosure but the common, heathy with coarse grass. 
Travelled along the common for some miles, before we 
joined the great road from Longtown to Glasgow saw 
on the bare hill-sides at a distance, sometimes a solitary 
farm, now and then a plantation, and one very large 
wood, with an appearance of richer ground above ; but 
it was so very high we could not think it possible. 
Having descended considerably, the common was no 
longer of a peat-mossy brown heath colour, but grass 
with rushes was its chief produce ; there was sometimes 
a solitary hut, no enclosures except the kail-garth, and 
sheep pasturing in flocks, with shepherd-boys tending 
them. I remember one boy in particular j he had no 
hat on, and only had a grey plaid wrapped about him. 
It is nothing to describe, but on a bare moor, alone with 
his sheep, standing, as he did, in utter quietness and 
silence, there was something uncommonly impressive in 
his appearance, a solemnity which recalled to our minds 
the old man in the corn-field. We passed many people 

1 Probably the Rev. John Aird, minister of the parish, 1801- 
1815. J. C. S. 


who were mowing, or raking the grass of the common ; 
it was little better than rushes ; but they did not mow 
straight forward, only here and there, where it was the 
best ; in such a place hay-cocks had an uncommon 
appearance to us. 

After a long descent we came to some plantations 
which were not far from Douglas Mill. The country 
for some time had been growing into cultivation, and 
now it was a wide vale with large tracts of corn ; trees 
in clumps, no hedgerows, which always make a country 
look bare and unlovely. For my part, I was better 
pleased with the desert places we had left behind, though 
no doubt the inhabitants of this place think it " a varra 
bonny spot," for the Scotch are always pleased with 
their own abode, be it what it may ; and afterwards at 
Edinburgh, when we were talking with a bookseller of 
our travels, he observed that it was "a fine country 
near Douglas Mill." Douglas Mill is a single house, a 
large inn, being one of the regular stages between 
Longtown and Glasgow, and therefore a fair specimen of 
the best of the country inns of Scotland. As soon as 
our car stopped at the door we felt the difference. At 
an English inn of this size, a waiter, or the master or 
mistress, would have been at the door immediately, but 
we remained some time before anybody came ; then a 
barefooted lass made her appearance, but she only looked 
at us and went away. The mistress, a remarkably 
handsome woman, showed us into a large parlour ; we 
ordered mutton-chops, and I finished my letter to Mary ; 
writing on the same window-ledge on which William had 
written to me two years before. 

After dinner, William and I sat by a little mill-race 
in the garden. We had left Leadhills and Wanlockhead 
far above us, and now were come into a warmer climate ; 
but there was no richness in the face of the country. 
The shrubs looked cold and poor, and yet there were 
some very fine trees within a little distance of Douglas 
Mill, so that the reason, perhaps, why the few low shrubs 


and trees which were growing in the gardens seemed 
to be so uniuxuriant, might be, that there being no 
hedgerows, the general appearance of the country was 
naked, and I could not help seeing the same coldness 
where, perhaps, it did not exist in itself to any great 
degree, for the corn crops are abundant, and I should 
think the soil is not bad. While we were sitting at the 
door, two of the landlady's children came out ; the elder, 
a boy about six years old, was running away from his 
little brother, in petticoats ; the ostler called out, " Sandy, 
tak* your wee brither wi j you n ; another voice from the 
window, " Sawny, dinna leave your wee brither ;5 ; the 
mother then came, " Alexander, tak 3 your wee brother by 
the hand" ; Alexander obeyed, and the two went off in 
peace together. We were charged eightpence for hay 
at this inn, another symptom of our being in Scotland. 
Left Douglas Mill at about three o'clock; travelled 
through an open corn country, the tracts of corn large 
and unenclosed. We often passed women or children 
who were watching a single cow while it fed upon the 
slips of grass between the corn. William asked a strong 
woman, about thirty years of age, who looked like the 
mistress of a family I suppose moved by some 
sentiment of compassion for her being so employed, if 
the cow would eat the corn if it were left to itself: she 
smiled at his simplicity. It is indeed a melancholy 
thing to see a full-grown woman thus waiting, as it were, 
body and soul devoted to the poor beast ; yet even this 
is better than working in a manufactory the day 

We came to a moorish tract ; saw before us the hills 
of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond and another, distinct each 
by itself. Not far from the roadside were some benches 
placed in rows in the middle of a large field, with a sort 
of covered shed like a sentry-box, but much more like 
those boxes which the Italian puppet-showmen in London 
use. We guessed that it was a pulpit or tent for 
preaching, and were told that a sect met there occasion- 


ally, who held that toleration was un scriptural, and 
would have all religions but their own exterminated. I 
have forgotten what name the man gave to this sect ; we 
could not learn that it differed in any other respect from 
the Church of Scotland. Travelled for some miles along 
the open country, which was all without hedgerows, 
sometimes arable, sometimes moorish, and often whole 
tracts covered with grunsel. 1 There was one field, 
which one might have believed had been sown with 
grunsel, it was so regularly covered with it a large square 
field upon a slope, its boundary marked to our eyes only 
by the termination of the bright yellow ; contiguous to it 
were other fields of the same size and shape, one of 
clover, the other of potatoes, all equally regular crops. 
The oddness of this appearance, the grunsel being un- 
commonly luxuriant, and the field as yellow as gold, 
made William laugh, Coleridge was melancholy upon 
it, observing that there was land enough wasted to rear 
a healthy child. 

We left behind us, considerably to the right, a single 
high mountain ; 2 I have forgotten its name ; we had had 
it long in view. Saw before us the river Clyde, its 
course at right angles to our road, which now made a 
turn, running parallel with the river ; the town of Lanerk 
in sight long before we came to it. I was somewhat 
disappointed with the first view of the Clyde : the banks, 
though swelling and varied, had a poverty in their 
appearance, chiefly from the want of wood and hedge- 
rows. Crossed the river and ascended towards Lanerk, 
which stands upon a hill. When we were within about 
a mile of the town, William parted from Coleridge and 
me, to go to the celebrated waterfalls. Coleridge did 
not attempt to drive the horse ; but led him all the way. 
We inquired for the best inn, and were told that the 
New Inn was the best ; but that they had very "genteel 
apartments" at the Black Bull, and made less charges, 

i Ragweed.]. C. S. * Tinto. J. C. S. 


and the Black Bull was at the entrance of the town, so 
we thought we would stop there, as the horse was 
obstinate and weary. But when we came to the Black 
Bull we had no wish to enter the apartments ; for it 
seemed the abode of dirt and poverty, yet it was a large 
building. The town showed a sort of French face, and 
would have done much more, had it not been for the 
true British tinge of coal-smoke ; the doors and windows 
dirty, the shops dull, the women too seemed to be very 
dirty in their dress. The town itself is not ugly ; the 
houses are of grey stone, the streets not very narrow, 
and the market-place decent. The New Inn is a hand- 
some old stone building, formerly a gentleman's house. 
We were conducted into a parlour, where people had 
been drinking ; the tables were unwiped, chairs in dis- 
order, the floor dirty, and the smell of liquors was most 
offensive. We were tired, however, and rejoiced in 
our tea. 

The evening sun was now sending a glorious light 
through the street, which ran from west to east; the 
houses were of a fire red, and the faces of the people as 
they walked westward were almost like a blacksmith 
when he is at work by night. I longed to be out, and 
meet with William, that we might see the Falls before 
the day was gone. Poor Coleridge was unwell, and 
could not go. I inquired my road, and a little girl told 
me she would go with me to the porter's lodge, where I 
might be admitted. I was grieved to hear that the Falls 
of the Clyde were shut up in a gentleman's grounds, and 
to be viewed only by means of lock and key. Much, 
however, as the pure feeling with which one would desire 
to visit such places is disturbed by useless, impertinent, 
or even unnecessary interference with nature, yet when I 
was there the next morning I seemed to feel it a less 
disagreeable thing than in smaller and more delicate 
spots, if I may use the phrase. My guide, a sensible 
little girl, answered my inquiries very prettily. She was 
eight years old, read in the " Collection," a book which 


all the Scotch children whom I have questioned read In. 
I found it was a collection of hymns ; she could repeat 
several of Dr. Watts'. \Ve passed through a great part 
of the town, then turned down a steep hill, and came in 
view of a long range of cotton mills, 1 the largest and 
loftiest I had ever seen ; climbed upwards again, our 
road leading us along the top of the left bank of the 
river ; both banks very steep and richly wooded. The 
girl left me at the porter's lodge. Having asked after 
William, I was told that no person had been there, or 
could enter but by the gate. The night was coming on, 
therefore I did not venture to go in, as I had no hope of 
meeting William. I had a delicious walk alone through 
the wood ; the sound of the water was very solemn, and 
even the cotton mills in the fading light of evening had 
somewhat of the majesty and stillness of the natural 
objects. It was nearly dark when I reached the inn. I 
found Coleridge sitting by a good fire, which always 
makes an inn room look comfortable. In a few minutes 
William arrived ; he had heard of me at the gate, and 
followed as quickly as he could, shouting after me. He 
was pale and exceedingly tired. 

After he had left us he had taken a wrong road, and 
while looking about to set himself right had met with a 
barefooted boy, who said he would go with him. The 
little fellow carried him by a wild path to the upper of 
the Falls, the Boniton Linn, and coming down un- 
expectedly upon it, he was exceedingly affected by the 
solemn grandeur of the place. This fall is not much 
admired or spoken of by travellers ; you have never a 
full, breast view of it ; it does not make a complete self- 
satisfying place, an abode of its own, as a perfect 
waterfall seems to me to do ; but the river, down which 
you look through a long vista of steep and ruin -like 
rocks, the roaring of the waterfall, and the solemn 
evening lights, must have been most impressive. One 

1 New Lanark, Robert Owen's mills. J. C. S, 


of the rocks on the near bank, even in broad daylight, 
as we saw it the next morning, is exactly like the 
fractured arch of an abbey. With the lights and 
shadows of evening upon it, the resemblance must have 
been much more striking. 

William's guide was a pretty boy, and he was exceed- 
ingly pleased with him. Just as they were quitting the 
waterfall, William's mind being full of the majesty of the 
scene, the little fellow pointed to the top of a rock, 
"There's a fine slae-bush there." " Ay, :? said William, 
" but there are no slaes upon it," which was true enough ; 
but I suppose the child remembered the slaes of another 
summer, though, as he said, he was but "half seven 
years old," namely, six and a half. He conducted 
William to the other fall, and as they were going along 
a narrow path, they came to a small cavern, where 
William lost him, and looking about, saw his pretty 
figure in a sort of natural niche fitted for a statue, from 
which the boy jumped out laughing, delighted with the 
success of his trick. William told us a great deal about 
him, while he sat by the fire, and of the pleasure of his 
walk, often repeating, " I wish you had been with me." 
Having no change, he gave the boy sixpence, which 
was certainly, if he had formed any expectations at all, 
far beyond them ; but he received it with the utmost 
indifference, without any remark of surprise or pleasure ; 
most likely he did not know how many halfpence he 
could get for it, and twopence would have pleased him 
more. My little girl was delighted with the sixpence I 
gave her, and said she would buy a book with it on 
Monday morning. What a difference between the 
manner of living and education of boys and of girls among 
the lower classes of people in towns ! she had never 
seen the Falls of the Clyde, nor had ever been further 
than the porter's lodge ; the boy, I daresay, knew every 
hiding-place in every accessible rock, as well as the fine 
" slae bushes " and the nut trees. 



Sunday p , August zist. The morning was very hot, a 
morning to tempt us to linger by the water-side. I 
wished to have had the day before us, expecting so 
much from what William had seen ; but when we went 
there, I did not desire to stay longer than till the hour 
which we had prescribed to ourselves ; for it was a rule 
not to be broken in upon, that the person who conducted 
us to the Falls was to remain by our side till we chose 
to depart. We left our inn immediately after breakfast. 
The lanes were full of people going to church ; many of 
the middle-aged women wore long scarlet cardinals, and 
were without hats : they brought to my mind the women 
of Goslar as they used to go to church in their silver or 
gold caps, with their long cloaks, black or coloured. 

The banks of the Clyde from Lanerk to the Falls 
rise immediately from the river; they are lofty and 
steep, and covered with wood. The road to the Falls is 
along the top of one of the banks, and to the left you 
have a prospect of the open country, corn fields and 
scattered houses. To the right, over the river, the 
country spreads out, as it were, into a plain covered 
over with hills, no one hill much higher than another, 
but hills all over ; there were endless pastures overgrown 
with broom, and scattered trees, without hedges or 
fences of any kind, and no distinct footpaths. It was 
delightful to see the lasses in gay dresses running like 
cattle among the broom, making their way straight for- 
ward towards the river, here and there as it might 
chance. They waded across the stream, and, when 
they had reached the top of the opposite bank, sat down 
by the road-side, about half a mile from the town, to 
put on their shoes and cotton stockings, which they 
brought tied up in pocket-handkerchiefs. The porter's 
lodge is about a mile from Lanerk, and the lady's house 
for the whole belongs to a lady, whose name I have 



forgotten 1 is upon a hill at a little distance. We 
walked, after we had entered the private grounds, 
perhaps two hundred yards along a gravel carriage-road, 
then came to a little side gate, which opened upon a 
narrow gravel path under trees, and in a minute and a 
half, or less, were directly opposite to the great waterfall. 
I was much affected by the first view of it. The 
majesty and strength of the water, for I had never 
before seen so large a cataract, struck me with astonish- 
ment, which died away, giving place to more delightful 
feelings ; though there were some buildings that I could 
have wished had not been there, though at first un- 
noticed. The chief of them was a neat, white, lady-like 
house, 2 very near to the waterfall. William and Cole- 
ridge however were in a better and perhaps wiser 
humour, and did not dislike the house ; indeed, it was a 
very nice-looking place, with a moderate-sized garden, 
leaving the green fields free and open. This house is 
on the side of the river opposite to the grand house and 
the pleasure-grounds. The waterfall Cora Linn is 
composed of two falls, with a sloping space, which 
appears to be about twenty yards between, but is much 
more. The basin which receives the fall is enclosed by 
noble rocks, with trees, chiefly hazels, birch, and ash 
growing out of their sides whenever there is any hold 
for them ; and a magnificent resting-place it is for such 
a river ; I think more grand than the Falls themselves. 

After having stayed some time, we returned by the 
same footpath into the main carriage-road, and soon 
came upon what William calls an ell-wide gravel walk, 
from which we had different views of the Linn. We sat 
upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, 
whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over 
the open country, and saw a ruined tower, called 
Wallace's Tower, which stands at a very little distance 
from the fall, and is an interesting object. A lady and 

1 Lady Mary Ross. J. C. S. 3 Corehouse. J. C. S. 


gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, 
came to the spot ; they left us at the seat, and we found 
them again at another station above the Falls. Cole- 
ridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into 
conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, 
began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it 
was a majestic waterfall Coleridge was delighted with 
the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been 
settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the 
words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed 
the subject with William at some length the day before. 
" Yes, sir, 3 ' says Coleridge, " it z's a majestic waterfall." 
" Sublime and beautiful," replied his friend. Poor 
Coleridge could make no answer, and, not very desirous 
to continue the conversation, came to us and related the 
story, laughing heartily. 

The distance from one Linn to the other may be half 
a mile or more, along the same ell-wide walk. We 
came to a pleasure-house, of which the little girl had the 
key ; she said it was called the Fog-house, because it 
was lined with " fog," namely moss. On the outside it 
resembled some of the huts in the prints belonging to 
Captain Cook's Voyages, and within was like a hay-stack 
scooped out. It was circular, with a dome-like roof, a 
seat all round fixed to the wall, and a table in the 
middle, seat, wall, roof, and table all covered with moss 
in the neatest manner possible. It was as snug as a 
bird's nest ; I wish we had such a one at the top of our 
orchard, only a great deal smaller. We afterwards 
found that huts of the same kind were common in the 
pleasure-grounds of Scotland; but we never saw any 
that were so beautifully wrought as this. It had, how- 
ever, little else to recommend it, the situation being 
chosen without judgment ; there was no prospect from 
it, nor was it a place of seclusion and retirement, for it 
stood close to the ell-wide gravel walk. We wished we 
could have shoved it about a hundred yards further on, 
when we arrived at a bench which was also close to the 


walk, for just below the bench, the walk elbowing out 
into a circle, there was a beautiful spring of clear water, 
which we could see rise up continually, at the bottom of 
a round stone basin full to the brim, the water gushing 
out at a little outlet and passing away under the walk. 
A reason was wanted for placing the hut where it is ; 
what a good one would this little spring have furnished 
for bringing it hither ! Along the whole of the path 
were openings at intervals for views of the river, but, as 
almost always happens in gentlemen's grounds, they 
were injudiciously managed; you were prepared for a 
dead stand by a parapet, a painted seat, or some other 

We stayed some time at the Boniton Fall, which has 
one great advantage over the other falls, that it is at the 
termination of the pleasure-grounds, and we see no 
traces of the boundary-line ; yet, except under some 
accidental circumstances, such as a sunset like that of 
the preceding evening, it is greatly inferior to the Cora 
Linn. We returned to the inn to dinner. The landlord 
set the first dish upon the table, as is common in 
England, and we were well waited upon. This first 
dish was true Scottish a boiled sheep's head, with the 
hair singed off; Coleridge and I ate heartily of it; we 
had barley broth, in which the sheep's head had been 
boiled. A party of tourists whom we had met in the 
pleasure-grounds drove from the door while we were 
waiting for dinner; I guess they were fresh from 
England, for they had stuffed the pockets of their 
carriage with bundles of heather, roots and all, just as if 
Scotland grew no heather but on the banks of the 
Clyde. They passed away with their treasure towards 
Loch Lomond. A party of boys, dressed all alike in 
blue, very neat, were standing at the chaise-door; we 
conjectured they were charity scholars ; but found on 
inquiry that they were apprentices to the cotton factory ; 
we were told that they were well instructed in reading 
and writing. We had seen in the morning a flock of 


girls dressed in grey coming out of the factory, probably 
apprentices also. 

After dinner set off towards Hamilton, but on foot, 
for we had to turn aside to the Cartland Rocks, and our 
car was to meet us on the road. A guide attended us, 
who might almost in size, and certainly in activity, have 
been compared with William's companion who hid him- 
self in the niche of the cavern. His method of walking 
and very quick step soon excited our attention. I could 
hardly keep up with him ; he paddled by our side, just 
reaching to my shoulder, like a little dog, with his long 
snout pushed before him for he had an enormous nose, 
and walked with his head foremost. I said to him, 
"How quick you walk ! " he replied, " That was not 
quick walking," and when I asked him what he called 
so, he said " Five miles an hour," and then related in 
how many hours he had lately walked from Lanerk to 
Edinburgh, done some errands, and returned to Lanerk 
I have forgotten the particulars, but it was a very 
short time and added that he had an old father who 
could walk at the rate of four miles an hour, for twenty- 
four miles, any day, and had never had an hour's sick- 
ness in his life. "Then," said I, "he has not drunk 
much strong liquor?" "Yes, enough to drown him." 
From his eager manner of uttering this, I inferred that 
he himself was a drinker ; and the man who met us 
with the car told William that he gained a great deal 
of money as an errand-goer, but spent it all in tippling. 
He had been a shoe-maker, but could not bear the 
confinement on account of a weakness in his chest. 

The neighbourhood of Lanerk is exceedingly pleasant ; 
we came to a sort of district of glens or little valleys that 
cleave the hills, leaving a cheerful, open country above 
them, with no superior hills, but an undulating surface. 
Our guide pointed to the situation of the Cartland Crags. 
We were to cross a narrow valley, and walk down on 
the other side, and then we should be at the spot ; but 
the little fellow made a sharp turn down a footpath to 


the left, saying, "We must have some conversation 
here." He paddled on with his small pawing feet till 
we came right opposite to a gentleman's house on the 
other side of the valley, when he halted, repeating some 
words, I have forgotten what, which were taken up by 
the most distinct echo I ever heard this is saying little : 
it was the most distinct echo that it is possible to 
conceive. It shouted the names of our fireside friends 
in the very tone in which William and Coleridge spoke ; 
but it seemed to make a joke of me, and I could not 
help laughing at my own voice, it was so shrill and pert, 
exactly as if some one had been mimicking it very 
successfully, with an intention of making me ridiculous. 
I wished Joanna had been there to laugh, for the echo 
is an excellent laugher, and would have almost made 
her believe that it was a true story which William has 
told of her and the mountains. We turned back, crossed 
the valley, went through the orchard and plantations 
belonging to the gentleman's house. By the bye, we 
observed to our guide that the echo must bring many 
troublesome visitors to disturb the quiet of the owner 
of that house, " Oh no," said he, " he glories in much 
company." He was a native of that neighbourhood, 
had made a moderate fortune abroad, purchased an 
estate, built the house, and raised the plantations ; and 
further, had made a convenient walk through his woods 
to the Cartland Crags. The house was modest and 
neat, and though not adorned in the best taste, and 
though the plantations were of fir, we looked at it with 
great pleasure, there was such true liberality and kind- 
heartedness in leaving his orchard path open, and his 
walks unobstructed by gates. I hope this goodness 
is not often abused by plunderers of the apple-trees, 
which were hung with tempting apples close to the 

At the termination of the little valley, we descended 
through a wood along a very steep path to a muddy 
stream running over limestone rocks ; turned up to the 


left along the bed of the stream, and soon we were closed 
in by rocks on each side. They were very lofty of 
limestone, trees starting out of them, high and low, 
overhanging the stream or shooting up towards the sky. 
No place of the kind could be more beautiful if the 
stream had been clear, but it was of a muddy yellow 
colour ; had it been a large river, one might have got 
the better of the unpleasantness of the muddy water hi 
the grandeur of its roaring, the boiling up of the foam 
over the rocks, or the obscurity of its pools. 

We had been told that the Cartland Crags were better 
worth going to see than the Falls of the Clyde. I did 
not think so ; but I have seen rocky dells resembling 
this before, with clear water instead of that muddy stream, 
and never saw anything like the Falls of the Clyde. It 
would be a delicious spot to have near one's house ; one 
would linger out many a day in the cool shade of the 
caverns, and the stream would soothe one by its murmur- 
ing ; still, being an old friend, one would not love it the 
less for its homely face. Even we, as we passed along, 
could not help stopping for a long while to admire the 
beauty of the lazy foam, for ever in motion, and never 
moved away, in a still place of the water, covering the 
whole surface of it with streaks and lines and ever-vary- 
ing circles. Wild marjoram grew upon the rocks in 
great perfection and beauty ; our guide gave me a bunch, 
and said he should come hither to collect a store for tea 
for the winter, and that it was u varra halesome " : he 
drank none else. We walked perhaps half a mile along 
the bed of the river; but it might seem to be much 
further than it was, owing to the difficulty of the path, 
and the sharp and many turnings of the glen. Passed 
two of Wallace's Caves. There is scarce a noted glen 
in Scotland that has not a cave for Wallace or some 
other hero. Before we left the river the rocks became 
less lofty, turned into a wood through which was a 
convenient path upwards, met the owner of the house 
and the echo-ground, and thanked him for the pleasure 


which he had provided for us and other travellers by 
making such pretty pathways. 

It was four o'clock when we reached the place where 
the car was waiting. We were anxious to be off, as we 
had fifteen miles to go ; but just as we were seating 
ourselves we found that the cushions were missing. 
William was forced to go back to the town, a mile at 
least, and Coleridge and I waited with the car. It 
rained, and we had some fear that the evening would be 
wet, but the rain soon ceased, though the sky continued 
gloomy an unfortunate circumstance, for we had to 
travel through a beautiful country, and of that sort which 
is most set off by sunshine and pleasant weather. 

Travelled through the Vale or Trough of the Clyde, 
as it is called, for ten or eleven miles, having the river 
on our right. We had fine views both up and down the 
river for the first three or four miles, our road being not 
close to it, but above its banks, along the open country, 
which was here occasionally intersected by hedgerows. 

Left our car in the road, and turned down a field to 
the Fall of Stonebyres, another of the falls of the Clyde, 
which I had not heard spoken of; therefore it gave me 
the more pleasure. We saw it from the top of the bank 
of the river at a little distance. It has not the imposing 
majesty of Cora Linn ; but it has the advantage of being 
left to itself, a grand solitude in the heart of a populous 
country. We had a prospect above and below it, of 
cultivated grounds, with hay-stacks, houses, hills ; but 
the river's banks were lonesome, steep, and woody, with 
rocks near the fall. 

A little further on, came more into company with the 
river ; sometimes we were close to it, sometimes above 
it, but always at no great distance ; and now the vale 
became more interesting and amusing. It is, very 
populous, with villages, hamlets, single cottages, or farm- 
houses embosomed in orchards, and scattered over with 
gentlemen's houses, some of them very ugly, tall and 
obtrusive, others neat and comfortable. We seemed 


now to have got into a country where poverty and riches 
were shaking hands together ; pears and apples, of which 
the crop was abundant, hung over the road, often grow- 
ing in orchards unfenced ; or there might be bunches of 
broom along the road-side in an interrupted line, that 
looked like a hedge till we came to it and saw the gaps. 
Bordering on these fruitful orchards perhaps would be a 
patch, its chief produce being gorse or broom. There 
was nothing like a moor or common anywhere ; but 
small plots of uncultivated ground were left high and 
low, among the potatoes, corn, cabbages, which grew 
intermingled, now among trees, now bare. The Trough 
of the Clyde is, indeed, a singular and very interesting 
region ; it is somewhat like the upper pan of the vale of 
Nith, but above the Nith is much less cultivated ground 
without hedgerows or orchards, or anything that looks 
like a rich country. We met crowds of people coming 
from the kirk ; the lasses were gaily dressed, often in 
white gowns, coloured satin bonnets, and coloured silk 
handkerchiefs, and generally with their shoes and stock- 
ings in a bundle hung on their arm. Before we left the 
river the vale became much less interesting, resembling 
a poor English country, the fields being large, and un- 
luxuriant hedges. 

It had been dark long before we reached Hamilton, 
and William had some difficulty in driving the tired 
horse through the town. At the inn they hesitated 
about being able to give us beds, the house being brim- 
full lights at every window. We were rather alarmed 
for our accommodations during the rest of the tour, 
supposing the house to be filled with tourists; but they 
were in general only regular travellers ; for out of the 
main road from town to town we saw scarcely a carriage, 
and the inns were empty. There was nothing remark- 
able in the treatment we met with at this inn, except 
the lazy impertinence of the waiter. It was a townish 
place, with a great larder set out ; the house throughout 


Monday ', August i2,nd. Immediately after breakfast 
walked to the Duke of Hamilton's house to view the 
picture-gallery, chiefly the famous picture of Daniel in 
the Lions' Den, by Rubens. It is a large building, 
without grandeur, a heavy, lumpish mass, after the 
fashion of the Hopetoun H, 1 only five times the size, 
and with longer legs, which makes it gloomy. We 
entered the gate, passed the porter's lodge, where we 
saw nobody, and stopped at the front door, as William 
had done two years before with Sir William Rush's 
family. We were met by a little mean -looking man, 
shabbily dressed, out of livery, who, we found, was the 
porter. After scanning us over, he told us that we 
ought not to have come to that door. We said we were 
sorry for the mistake, but as one of our party had been 
there two years before, and was admitted by the same 
entrance, we had supposed it was the regular way. 
After many hesitations, and having kept us five minutes 
waiting in the large hall, while he went to consult with 
the housekeeper, he informed us that we could not be 
admitted at that time, the housekeeper being unwell ; 
but that we might return in an hour : he then conducted 
us through long gloomy passages to an obscure door at 
the corner of the house. We asked if we might be per- 
mitted to walk in the park in the meantime; and he 
told us that ' this would not be agreeable to the Duke's 
family. We returned to the inn discontented enough, 
but resolved not to waste an hour, if there were anything 
else in the neighbourhood worth seeing. The waiter 
told us there was a curious place called Baroncleugh, 
with gardens cut out in rocks, and we determined to go 
thither. We had to walk through the town, which may 
be about as large as Penrith, and perhaps a mile further, 
along a dusty turnpike road. The morning was 

1 The house belonging to the Earls of Hopetoun at Leadhills, 
not tt^at which bears this name about twelve miles from Edin- 
burgh.;. C. S. 


sunny, and windy, and we were half tired before we 
reached the place ; but were amply repaid for our 

The general face of the country near Hamilton is 
much in the ordinary English style ; not very hilly, with 
hedgerows, corn fields, and stone houses. The Clyde is 
here an open river with low banks, and the country 
spreads out so wide that there is no appearance of a 
regular vale. Baroncleugh is in a beautiful deep glen 
through which runs the river Avon, a stream that falls 
into the Clyde. The house stands very sweetly in com- 
plete retirement ; it has its gardens and terraces one 
above another, with flights of steps between, box-trees 
and yew-trees cut in fantastic shapes, flower-borders and 
summer-houses ; and, still below, apples and pears were 
hanging in abundance on the branches of large old trees, 
which grew intermingled with the natural wood, elms, 
beeches, etc., even to the water's edge. The whole 
place is in perfect harmony with the taste of our 
ancestors, and the yews and hollies are shaven as nicely, 
and the gravel walks and flower-borders kept in as exact 
order, as if the spirit of the first architect of the terraces 
still presided over them. The opposite bank of the 
river is left in its natural wildness, and nothing was to 
be seen higher up but the deep dell, its steep banks 
being covered with fine trees, a beautiful relief or con- 
trast to the garden, which is one of the most elaborate 
old things ever seen, a little hanging garden of Babylon. 

I was sorry to hear that the owner of this sweet place 
did not live there always. He had built a small thatched 
house to eke out the old one : it was a neat dwelling, 
with no false ornaments. We were exceedingly sorry to 
quit this spot, which is left to nature and past times, and 
should have liked to have pursued the glen further up ; 
we were told that there was a ruined castle ; and the 
walk itself must be very delightful ; but we wished to 
reach Glasgow in good time, and had to go again to 
Hamilton House. Returned to the town by a much 


shorter road, and were very angry with the waiter for 
not having directed us to it ; but he was too great a 
man to speak three words more than he could help. 

We stopped at the proper door of the Duke's house, 
and seated ourselves humbly upon a bench, waiting the 
pleasure of the porter, who, after a little time, informed 
us that we could not be admitted, giving no reason 
whatever. When we got to the inn, we could just 
gather from the waiter that it was not usual to refuse 
admittance to strangers ; but that was all : he could not, 
or would not, help us, so we were obliged to give it up, 
which mortified us, for I had wished much to see the 
picture. William vowed that he would write that very 
night to Lord Archibald Hamilton, stating the whole 
matter, which he did from Glasgow. 

I ought to have mentioned the park, though, as we 
were not allowed to walk there, we saw but little of it. 
It looked pleasant, as all parks with fine trees must be, 
but, as it seemed to be only a large, nearly level, plain, 
it could not be a particularly beautiful park, though it 
borders upon the Clyde, and the Avon runs, I believe, 
through it, after leaving the solitude of the glen of 

Quitted Hamilton at about eleven o'clock. There is 
nothing interesting between Hamilton and Glasgow till 
we came to Bothwell Castle, a few miles from Hamilton. 
The country is cultivated, but not rich, the fields large, 
a perfect contrast to the huddling together of hills and 
trees, corn and pasture grounds, hay-stacks, cottages, 
orchards, broom and gorse, but chiefly broom, that had 
amused us so much the evening before in passing through 
the Trough of the Clyde. A native of Scotland would 
not probably be satisfied with the account I have given 
of the Trough of the Clyde, for it is one of the most 
celebrated scenes in Scotland. We certainly received 
less pleasure from it than we had expected ; but it was 
plain that this was chiefly owing to the unfavourable 
circumstances under which we saw it a gloomy sky 


and a cold blighting wind. It is a very beautiful dis- 
trict, yet there, as in all the other scenes of Scotland 
celebrated for their fertility, we found something which 
gave us a notion of barrenness, of what was not alto- 
gether genial. The new fir and larch plantations, here 
as in almost every other part of Scotland, contributed 
not a little to this effect. 

Crossed the Clyde not far from Hamilton, and had 
the river for some miles at a distance from us, on our 
left ; but after having gone, it might be, three miles, we 
came to a porter's lodge on the left side of the road, 
where we were to turn to Bothwell Castle, which is in 
Lord Douglas's grounds. The woman who keeps the 
gate brought us a book, in which we wrote down our 
names. Went about half a mile before we came to the 
pleasure-grounds. Came to a large range of stables, 
where we were to leave the car ; but there was no one 
to unyoke the horse, so William was obliged to do it 
himself, a task which lie performed very awkwardly, 
being then new to it. We saw the ruined castle em- 
bosomed in trees, passed the house, and soon found 
ourselves on the edge of a steep brow immediately above 
and overlooking the course of the river Clyde through a 
deep hollow between woods and green steeps. We had 
approached at right angles from the main road to the 
place over a flat, and had seen nothing before us but a 
nearly level country terminated by distant slopes, the 
Clyde hiding himself in his deep bed. It was exceed- 
ingly delightful to come thus unexpectedly upon such a 
beautiful region. 

The Castle stands nobly, overlooking the Clyde. 
When we came up to it I was hurt to see that flower- 
borders had taken place of the natural overgrowings 
of the ruin, the scattered stones and wild plants. It is 
a large and grand pile, of red freestone, harmonizing 
perfectly with the rocks of the river, from which, no 
doubt, it has been hewn. When I was a little accus- 
tomed to the unnaturalness of a modern garden, I could 


not help admiring the excessive beauty and luxuriance 
of some of the plants, particularly the purple-flowered 
clematis, and a broad -leaved creeping plant without 
flowers, which scrambled up the castle wall along with 
the ivy, and spread its vine-like branches so lavishly 
that it seemed to be in its natural situation, and one 
could not help thinking that, though not self-planted 
among the ruins of this country, it must somewhere have 
its natural abode in such places. If Bothwell Castle 
had not been close to the Douglas mansion we should 
have been disgusted with the possessor's miserable con- 
ception of " adorning " such a venerable ruin ; but it is 
so very near to the house that of necessity the pleasure- 
grounds must have extended beyond it, and perhaps the 
neatness of a shaven lawn and the complete desolation 
natural to a ruin might have made an unpleasing con- 
trast ; and besides, being within the precincts of the 
pleasure-grounds, and so very near to the modern 
mansion of a noble family, it has forfeited in some 
degree its independent majesty, and becomes a tributary 
to the mansion ; its solitude being interrupted, it has no 
longer the same command over the mind in sending it 
back into past times, or excluding the ordinary feelings 
which we bear about us in daily life. We had then only 
to regret that the castle and house were so near to each 
other; and it was impossible not to regret it; for the 
ruin presides in state over the river, far from city or 
town, as if it might have had a peculiar privilege to 
preserve its memorials of past ages and maintain its 
own character and independence for centuries to come. 

We sat upon a bench under the high trees, and had 
beautiful views of the different reaches of the river above 
and below. On the opposite bank, which is finely 
wooded with elms and other trees, are the remains of 
an ancient priory, built upon a rock : and rock and ruin 
are so blended together tbat it is impossible to separate 
the one from the other. Nothing can be more beautiful 
than the little remnants of this holy place ; elm trees 


for we were near enough to distinguish them by their 
branches grow out of the walls, and overshadow a 
small but very elegant window. It can scarcely be 
conceived what a grace the castle and priory impart to 
each other ; and the river Clyde flows on smooth and 
unruffled below, seeming to my thoughts more in har- 
mony with the sober and stately images of former times, 
than if it had roared over a rocky channel, forcing its 
sound upon the ear. It blended gently with the warb- 
ling of the smaller birds and chattering of the larger 
ones that had made their nests in the ruins. In this 
fortress the chief of the English nobility were confined 
after the battle of Bannockburn. If a man is to be a 
prisoner, he scarcely could have a more pleasant place 
to solace his captivity; but I thought that for close 
confinement I should prefer the banks of a lake or the 
sea-side. The greatest charm of a brook or river is in 
the liberty to pursue it through its windings ; you can 
then take it in whatever mood you like ; silent or noisy, 
sportive or quiet. The beauties of a brook or river must 
be sought, and the pleasure is in going in search of 
them ; those of a lake or of the sea come to you of 
themselves. These rude warriors cared little perhaps 
about either ; and yet if one may judge from the writings 
of Chaucer and from the old romances, more interesting 
passions were connected with natural objects in the days 
of chivalry than now, though going in search of scenery, 
as it is called, had not then been thought of. I had 
heard nothing of Bothwell Castle, at least nothing that I 
remembered, therefore, perhaps, my pleasure was greater, 
compared with what I received elsewhere, than others 
might feel. 

At our return to the stables we found an inferior 
groom, who helped William to yoke the horse, and was 
very civil. We grew hungry before we had travelled 
many miles, and seeing a large public-house it was in a 
walled court some yards from the road Coleridge got 
off the car to inquire if we could dine there, and was told 


we could have nothing but eggs. It was a miserable 
place, very like a French house ; indeed we observed, in 
almost every part of Scotland, except Edinburgh, that we 
were reminded ten times of France and Germany for once 
of England. 

Saw nothing remarkable after leaving Bothwell, except 
the first view of Glasgow, at some miles distance, 
terminated by the mountains of Loch Lomond. The 
suburbs of Glasgow extend very far, houses on each side 
of the highway, all ugly, and the inhabitants dirty. 
The roads are very wide ; and everything seems to tell 
of the neighbourhood of a large town. We were annoyed 
by carts and dirt, and the road was full of people, who 
aU noticed our car in one way or other; the children 
often sent a hooting after us. 

Wearied completely, we at last reached the town, and 
were glad to walk, leading the car to the first decent inn, 
which was luckily not far from the end of the town. 
William, who gained most of his road-knowledge from 
ostlers, had been informed of this house by the ostler at 
Hamilton ; it proved quiet and tolerably cheap, a new 
building the Saracen's Head. I shall never forget how 
glad I was to be landed in a little quiet back-parlour, for 
my head was beating with the noise of carts which we 
had left, and the wearisomeness of the disagreeable 
objects near the highway ; but with my first pleasant 
sensations also came the feeling that we were not in an 
English inn partly from its half-unfurnished appearance, 
which is common in Scotland, for in general the deal 
wainscots and doors are unpainted, and partly from the 
dirtiness of the floors. Having dined, William and I 
walked to the post-office, and after much seeking found 
out a quiet timber-yard wherein to sit down and read our 
letter. We then walked a considerable time in the 
streets, which are perhaps as handsome as streets can be, 
which derive no particular effect from their situation in 
connexion with natural advantages, such as rivers, sea, or 
hills. The Trongate, an old street, is very picturesque 


high houses, with an intermixture of gable fronts towards 
the street. The New Town is built of fine stone, in the 
best style of the very best London streets at the west end 
of the town, but, not being of brick, they are greatly 
superior. One thing must strike every stranger in his 
first walk through Glasgow an appearance of business 
and bustle, but no coaches or gentlemen's carriages ; 
during all the time we walked in the streets I only saw 
three carriages, and these were travelling chaises. I also 
could not but observe a want of cleanliness in the 
appearance of the lower orders of the people, and a 
dulness in the dress and outside of the whole mass, as 
they moved along. We returned to the inn before it 
was dark. I had a bad headache, and was tired, and we 
all went to bed soon. 

Tuesday^ August z^rd. A cold morning. Walked 
to the bleaching-ground, 1 a large field bordering on the 
Clyde, the banks of which are perfectly flat, and the 
general face of the country is nearly so in the neighbour- 
hood of Glasgow. This field, the whole summer through, 
is covered with women of all ages, children, and young 
girls spreading out their linen, and watching it while it 
bleaches. The scene must be very cheerful on a fine 
day, but it rained when we were there^ and though there 
was linen spread out in all parts, and great numbers of 
women and girls were at work, yet there would have been 
many more on a fine day, and they would have appeared 
happy, instead of stupid and cheerless. In the middle 
of the field is a wash-house, whither the inhabitants of 
this large town, rich and poor, send or cariy their linen 
to be washed. There are two very large rooms, with 
each a cistern in the middle for hot water ; and all round 
the rooms are benches for the women to set their tubs 
upon. Both the rooms were crowded with washers ; 
there might be a hundred, or two, or even three ; for it 

1 Glasgow Green. J. C. S. 


is not easy to form an accurate notion of so great a 
number ; however, the rooms were large, and they were 
both full. It was amusing to see so many women, arms, 
head, and face all in motion, all busy in an ordinary 
household employment, in which we are accustomed to 
see, at the most, only three or four women employed in 
one place. The women were very civiL I learnt from 
them the regulations of the house ; but I have forgotten 
the particulars. The substance of them is, that " so 
much " is to be paid for each tub of water, " so much " for 
a tub, and the privilege of washing for a day, and, " so 
much " to the general overlookers of the linen, when it is 
left to be bleached. An old man and woman have this 
office, who were walking about, two melancholy figures. 

The shops at Glasgow are large, and like London 
shops, and we passed by the largest coffee-room I ever 
saw. You look across the piazza of the Exchange, and 
see to the end of the coffee-room, where there is a circular 
window, the width of the room. Perhaps there might be 
thirty gentlemen sitting on the circular bench of the 
window, each reading a newspaper. They had the 
appearance of figures in a fantoccine, or men seen at the 
extremity of the opera-house, diminished into puppets. 

I am sorry I did not see the High Church : both 
William and I were tired, and it rained very hard after 
we had left the bleaching-ground ; besides, I am less 
eager to walk in a large town than anywhere else ; so we 
put it off, and I have since repented of my irresolution. 

Dined, and left Glasgow at about three o'clock, in a 
heavy rain. We were obliged to ride through the 
streets to keep our feet dry, and, in spite of the rain, 
every person as we went along stayed his steps to look 
at us ; indeed, we had the pleasure of spreading smiles 
from one end of Glasgow to the other for we travelled 
the whole length of the town. A set of schoolboys, 
perhaps there might be eight, with satchels over their 
shoulders, and, except one or two, without shoes and 
stockings, yet very well dressed in jackets and trousers, 


like gentlemen's children, followed us in great delight, 
admiring the car and longing to jump up. At last, 
though we were seated, they made several attempts to 
get on behind ; and they looked so pretty and wild, and 
at the same time so modest, that we wished to give them 
a ride, and there being a little hill near the end of the 
town, we got off, and four of them who still remained, 
the rest having dropped into their homes by the way, 
took our places ; and indeed I would have walked two 
miles willingly, to have had the pleasure of seeing them 
so happy. When they were to ride no longer, they 
scampered away, laughing and rejoicing. New houses 
are rising up in great numbers round Glasgow, citizen- 
like houses, and new plantations, chiefly of fir; the 
fields are frequently enclosed by hedgerows, but there is 
no richness, nor any particular beauty for some miles. 

The first object that interested us was a gentleman's 
house upon a green plain or holm, almost close to the 
Clyde, sheltered by tall trees, a quiet modest mansion, 
and, though white-washed, being an old building, and 
no other house near it, or in connexion with it, and 
standing upon the level field, which belonged to it, its 
own domain, the whole scene together brought to our 
minds an image of the retiredness and sober elegance of 
a nunnery ; but this might be owing to the greyness of 
the afternoon, and our having come immediately from 
Glasgow, and through a country which, till now, had 
either had a townish taint, or at best little of rural 
beauty. While we were looking at the house we over- 
took a foot-traveller, who, like many others, began to 
talk about our car. We alighted to walk up a hill, and, 
continuing the conversation, the man told us, with some- 
thing like a national pride, that it belonged to a Scotch 
Lord, Lord Semple ; he added, that a little further on 
we should see a much finer prospect, as fine a one as 
ever we had seen in our lives. Accordingly, when we 
came to the top of the hill, it opened upon us most 
magnificently. We saw the Clyde, now a stately sea- 


river, winding away mile after mile, spotted with boats 
and ships, each side of the river hilly, the right populous 
with single houses and villages Dunglass Castle upon 
a promontory, the whole view terminated by the rock of 
Dumbarton, at five or six miles' distance, which stands 
by itself, without any hills near it, like a sea-rock. 

We travelled for some time near the river, passing 
through clusters of houses which seemed to owe their 
existence rather to the wealth of the river than the land, 
for the banks were mostly bare, and the soil appeared 
poor, even near the water. The left side of the river 
was generally uninhabited and moorish, yet there are 
some beautiful spots : for instance, a nobleman's house, 1 
where the fields and trees were rich, and, hi combination 
with the river, looked very lovely. As we went along 
William and I were reminded of the views upon the 
Thames in Kent, which, though greatly superior in rich- 
ness and softness, are much inferior in grandeur. Not 
far from Dumbarton, we passed under some rocky, 
copse-covered hills, which were so like some of the hills 
near Grasmere that we could have half believed they 
were the same. Arrived at Dumbarton before it was 
dark, having pushed on briskly that we might have start 
of a traveller at the inn, who was following us as fast as 
he could in a gig. Every front room was full, and we 
were afraid we should not have been admitted. They put 
us into a little parlour, dirty, and smelling of liquors, the 
table uncleaned, and not a chair in its place ; we were 
glad, however, of our sorry accommodations. 

While tea was preparing we lolled at our ease, and 
though the room -window overlooked the stable -yard, 
and at our entrance there appeared to be nothing but 
gloom and unloveliness, yet while I lay stretched upon 
the carriage cushions on three chairs, I discovered a 
little side peep which was enough to set the mind at 
work. It was no more than a smoky vessel lying at 

1 No doubt Erskine House, the seat of Lord Blantyre. -J. C. S. 


anchor, with its bare masts, a clay hut and the shelving 
bank of the river, with a green pasture above. Perhaps 
you will think that there is not much in this, as I 
describe it : it is true ; but the effect produced by these 
simple objects, as they happened to be combined, 
together with the gloom of the evening, was exceedingly 
wild. Our room was parted by a slender partition from 
a large dining-room, in which were a number of officers 
and their wives, who, after the first hour, never ceased 
singing, dancing, laughing, or loud talking. The ladies 
sang some pretty songs, a great relief to us. We went 
early to bed ; but poor Coleridge could not sleep for the 
noise at the street door ; he lay in the parlour below 
stairs. It is no uncommon thing in the best inns of 
Scotland to have shutting-up beds in the sitting-rooms. 

Wednesday p , August 24^. As soon as breakfast was 
over, William and I walked towards the Castle, a short 
mile from the town. We overtook two young men, who, 
on our asking the road, offered to conduct us, though it 
might seem it was not easy to miss our way, for the rock 
rises singly by itself from the plain on which the town 
stands. The rock of Dumbarton is very grand when 
you are close to it, but at a little -distance, under an 
ordinary sky, and in open day, it is not grand, but 
curiously wild. The castle and fortifications add little 
effect to the general view of the rock, especially since 
the building of a modern house, which is white- washed, 
and consequently jars, wherever it is seen, with the 
natural character of the place. There is a path up to 
the house, but it being low water we could walk round 
the rock, which we resolved to do. On that side next 
the town green grass grows to a considerable height up 
the rock, but wherever the river borders upon it, it is 
naked stone. I never saw rock in nobler masses, or 
more deeply stained by time and weather ; nor is this to 
be wondered at, for it is in the very eye of sea-storms 
and land-storms, of mountain winds and water winds. 



It is of all colours, but a rusty yellow predominates. 
As we walked along, we could not but look up continually, 
and the mass above being on every side so huge, it 
appeared more wonderful than when we saw the whole 

We sat down on one of the large stones which lie 
scattered near the base of the rock, with sea-weed grow- 
ing amongst them. Above our heads the rock was 
perpendicular for a considerable height, nay, as it seemed, 
to the very top, and on the brink of the precipice a few 
sheep, two of them rams with twisted horns, stood, as if 
on the look-out over the wide country. At the same 
time we saw a sentinel in his red coat, walking back- 
wards and forwards between us and the sky, with his 
firelock over his shoulder. The sheep, I suppose owing 
to our being accustomed to see them in similar situations, 
appeared to retain their real size, while, on the contrary, 
the soldier seemed to be diminished by the distance till 
he almost looked like a puppet moved with wires for the 
pleasure of children, or an eight years 3 old drummer in 
his stiff, manly dress beside a company of grenadiers. 
I had never before, perhaps, thought of sheep and men 
in soldiers 7 dresses at the same time, and here they were 
brought together in a strange fantastic way. As will be 
easily conceived, the fearlessness and stillness of those 
quiet creatures, on the brow of the rock, pursuing their 
natural occupations, contrasted with the restless and 
apparently unmeaning motions of the dwarf soldier, 
added not a little to the general effect of this place, 
which is that of wild singularity, and the whole was 
aided by a blustering wind and a gloomy sky. Coleridge 
joined us, and we went up to the top of the rock. 

The road to a considerable height is through a narrow 
cleft, in which a flight of steps is 'hewn ; the steps 
nearly fill the cleft, and on each side the rocks form a 
high and irregular wall ; it is almost like a long sloping 
caveni, only that it is roofed by the sky. We came to 
the barracks ; soldiers' wives were hanging out linen upon 


the rails, while the wind beat about them furiously 
there was nothing which it could set in motion but the 
garments of the women and the linen upon the rails ; 
the grass for we had now come to green grass was 
close and smooth, and not one pile an inch above 
another, and neither tree nor shrub. The standard pole 
stood erect without a flag. The rock has two summits, 
one much broader and higher than the other. When 
we were near to the top of the lower eminence we had 
the pleasure of finding a little garden of flowers and 
vegetables belonging to the soldiers. There are three 
distinct and very noble prospects the first up the Clyde 
towards Glasgow Dunglass Castle, seen on its pro- 
montory boats, sloops, hills, and many buildings ; the 
second, down the river to the sea Greenock and Port- 
Glasgow, and the distant mountains at the entrance of 
Loch Long ; and the third extensive and distant view is 
up the Leven, which here falls into the Clyde, to the 
mountains of Loch Lomond. The distant mountains in 
all these views were obscured by mists and dingy clouds, 
but if the grand outline of any one of the views can be 
seen, it is sufficient recompense for the trouble of climb- 
ing the rock of Dumbarton. 

The soldier who was our guide told us that an old 
ruin which we came to at the top of the higher eminence 
had been a wind-mill an inconvenient station, though 
certainly a glorious place for wind ; perhaps if it really 
had been a wind- mill it was only for the use of the 
garrison. We looked over cannons on the battery-walls, 
and saw in an open field below the yeomanry cavalry 
exercising, while we could hear from the town, which 
was full of soldiers, "Dumbarton's drums beat bonny, 
O I " Yet while we stood upon this eminence, rising up 
so far as it does inland, and having the habitual old 
English feeling of our own security as islanders we 
could not help looking upon the fortress, in spite of its 
cannon and soldiers, and the rumours of invasion, as set 
up against the hostilities of wind and weather rather 


than for any other warfare. On our return we were 
invited into the guard-room, about half-way down the 
rock, where we were shown a large rusty sword, which 
they called Wallace's Sword, and a trout boxed up in a 
well close by, where they said he had been confined for 
upwards of thirty years. For the pleasure of the 
soldiers, who were anxious that we should see him, we 
took some pains to spy him out in his black den, and at 
last succeeded. It was pleasing to observe how much 
interest the poor soldiers though themselves probably 
new to the place seemed to attach to this antiquated 
inhabitant of their garrison. 

When we had reached the bottom of the rock along 
the same road by which we had ascended, we made our 
way over the rough stones left bare by the tide, round the 
bottom of the rock, to the point where we had set off. 
This is a wild and melancholy walk on a blustering cloudy 
day : the naked bed of the river, scattered over with 
sea-weed ; grey swampy fields on the other shore ; sea- 
birds flying overhead ; the high rock perpendicular and 
bare. We came to two very large fragments, which had 
fallen from the main rock ; Coleridge thought that one of 
them was as large as Bowder-Stone, 1 William and I did 
not ; but it is impossible to judge accurately ; we prob- 
ably, without knowing it, compared them with the whole 
mass from which they had fallen, which, from its situation, 
we consider as one rock or stone, and there is no 
object of the kind for comparison with the Bowder-Stone. 
When we leave the shore of the Clyde grass begins to 
show itself on the rock ; go a considerable way still 
under the rock along a flat field, and pass immediately 
below the white house, which wherever seen looks so 

Left Dumbarton at about eleven o'clock. The sky 
was cheerless and the air ungenial, which we regretted, 
as we were going to Loch Lomond, and wished to greet 

1 A rock in Borrowdale, Cumberland. ED. 


the first of the Scottish lakes with our cheerfullest and 
best feelings. Crossed the Leven at the end of Dum- 
barton, and, when we looked behind, had a pleasing view 
of the town, bridge, and rock ; but when we took in a 
reach of the river at the distance of perhaps half a mile, 
the swamp ground, being so near a town, and not in its 
natural wildness, but seemingly half cultivated, with 
houses here and there, gave us an idea of extreme poverty 
of soil, or that the inhabitants were either indolent or 
miserable. We had to travel four miles on the banks of 
the " Water of Leven " before we should come to Loch 
Lomond. Having expected a grand river from so grand 
a lake, we were disappointed ; for it appeared to me not 
to be very much larger than the Emont, and is not near 
so beautiful ; but we must not forget that the day was 
cold and gloomy. Near Dumbarton it is like a river in 
a flat country, or under the influence of tides ; but a 
little higher up it resembles one of our rivers, flowing 
through a vale of no extreme beauty, though prettily 
wooded ; the hills on each side not very high, sloping 
backwards from the bed of the vale, which is neither 
very narrow nor very wide ; the prospect terminated by 
Ben Lomond and other mountains. The vale is popu- 
lous, but looks as if it were not inhabited by cultivators 
of the earth ; the houses are chiefly of stone ; often in 
rows by the river-side ; they stand pleasantly, but have a 
tradish look, as if they might have been off-sets from 
Glasgow. We saw many bleach -yards, but no other 
symptom of a manufactory, except something in the 
houses that was not rural, and a want of independent 
comforts. Perhaps if the river had been glittering in 
the sun, and the smoke of the cottages rising in distinct 
volumes towards the sky, as I have seen in the vale or 
basin below Pillsden in Dorsetshire, when every cottage, 
hidden from the eye, pointed out its lurking-place by an 
upright wreath of white smoke, the whole scene might 
have excited ideas of perfect cheerfulness. 

Here, as on the Nith, and much more than in the 


Trough of the Clyde, a great portion of the ground was 
uncultivated, but the hills being less wild, the river more 
stately, and the ground not heaved up so irregularly and 
tossed about, the imperfect cultivation was the more to 
be lamented, particularly as there were so many houses 
near the river. In a small enclosure by the wayside is a 
pillar erected to the memory of Dr. Smollett, who was 
born in a village at a little distance, which we could see 
at the same time, and where, I believe, some of ^the 
family still reside. There is a long Latin inscription, 
which Coleridge translated for my benefit. The Latin 
is miserably bad 1 - as Coleridge said, such as poor 
Smollett, who was an excellent scholar, would have been 
ashamed of. 

Before we came to Loch Lomond the vale widened, 
and became less populous. We climbed over a wall into 
a large field to have a better front view of the lake than 
from the road. This view is very much like that from 
Mr. Clarkson's windows : the mountain in front resembles 
Hallan ,- indeed, is almost the same ; but Ben Lomond 
is not seen standing in such majestic company as 
Helvellyn, and the meadows are less beautiful than 
Ulswaten The reach of the lake is very magnificent ; 
you see it, as Ulswater is seen beyond the promontory 
of Old Church, winding away behind a large woody island 
that looks like a promontory. The outlet of the lake 
we had a distinct view of it in the field is very insigni- 
ficant The bulk of the river is frittered away by small 
alder bushes, as I recollect ; I do not remember that it 
was reedy, but the ground had a swampy appearance ; 
and here the vale spreads out wide and shapeless, as if 
the river were born to no inheritance, had no sheltering 
cradle, no hills of its own. As we have seen, this does 
not continue long ; it flows through a distinct, though not 

1 The inscription on the pillar was written by Professor George 
Stuart of Edinburgh, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre and Dr. Samuel 
Johnson; for Dr. Johnson's share in the work see Croker's Boswell, 
p. 392. J. C. S. 


a magnificent vale. But, having lost the pastoral char- 
acter which it had in the youthful days of Smollett if the 
description in his ode to his native stream be a faithful 
one it is less interesting than it was then. 

The road carried us sometimes close to the lake, 
sometimes at a considerable distance from it, over moorish 
grounds, or through half-cultivated enclosures; we had 
the lake on our right, which is here so wide that the 
opposite hills, not being high, are cast into insignificance, 
and we could not distinguish any buildings near the 
water, if any there were. It is however always delightful 
to travel by a lake of clear waters, if you see nothing else 
but a very ordinary country ; but we had some beautiful 
distant views, one in particular, down the high road, 
through a vista of over-arching trees ; and the near shore 
was frequently very pleasing, with its gravel banks, 
bendings, and small bays. In one part it was bordered 
for a considerable way by irregular groups of forest trees 
or single stragglers, which, although not large, seemed 
old ; their branches were stunted and knotty, as if they 
had been striving with storms, and had half yielded to 
them. Under these trees we had a variety of pleasing 
views across the lake, and the very rolling over the road 
and looking at its smooth and beautiful surface was itself 
a pleasure. It was as smooth as a gravel walk, and of 
the bluish colour of some of the roads among the lakes 
of the north of England. 

Passed no very remarkable place till we came to Sir 
James Colquhoun's house, which stands upon a large, 
flat, woody peninsula, looking towards Ben Lomond. 
There must be many beautiful walks among the copses 
of the peninsula, and delicious views over the water ; but 
the general surface of the country is poor, and looks as 
if it ought to be rich and well peopled, for it is not 
mountainous ; nor had we passed any hills which a 
Cumbrian would dignify with the name of mountains. 
There was many a little plain or gently-sloping hill 
covered with poor heath or broom without trees, where 


one should have liked to see a cottage in a bower of 
wood, with its patch of corn and potatoes, and a green 
field with a hedge to keep it warm. As we advanced 
we perceived less of the coldness of poverty, the hills not 
having so large a space between them and the lake. 
The surface of the hills being in its natural state, is 
always beautiful ; but where there is only a half cultivated 
and half peopled soil near the banks of a lake or river, 
the idea is forced upon one that they who do live there 
have not much of cheerful enjoyment. 

But soon we came to just such a place as we had 
wanted to see. The road was close to the water, and a 
hill, bare, rocky, or with scattered copses rose above it. 
A deep shade hung over the road, where some little boys 
were at play ; we expected a dwelling-house of some 
sort ; and when we came nearer, saw three or four 
thatched huts under the trees, and at the same moment 
felt that it was a paradise. We had before seen the 
lake only as one wide plain of water ; but here the 
portion of it which we saw was bounded by a high and 
steep, heathy and woody island opposite, which did not 
appear like an island, but the main shore, and framed 
out a little oblong lake apparently not so broad as 
Rydale-water, with one small island covered with trees, 
resembling some of the most beautiful of the holms of 
Windermere, and only a narrow river's breadth from the 
shore. This was a place where we should have liked to 
have lived, and the only one we had seen near Loch 
Lomond. How delightful to have a little shed concealed 
under the branches of the fairy island ! the cottages and 
the island might have been made for the pleasure of each 
other. It was but like a natural garden, the distance 
was so small ; nay, one could not have forgiven any one 
living there, not compelled to daily labour, if he did not 
connect it with his dwelling by some feeling of domestic 
attachment, like what he has for the orchard where his 
children play. I thought, what a place for William ! he 
might row himself over with twenty strokes of the oars, 


escaping from the business of the house, and as safe from 
intruders, with his boat anchored beside him, as if he 
had locked himself up in the strong tower of a castle. 
We were unwilling to leave this sweet spot ; but it was 
so simple, and therefore so rememberable, that it seemed 
almost as if we could have carried it away with us. It 
was nothing more than a small lake enclosed by trees at 
the ends and by the way-side, and opposite by the island, 
a steep bank on which the purple heath was seen under 
low oak coppice-wood, a group of houses over-shadowed 
by trees, and a bending road. There was one remark- 
able tree, an old larch with hairy branches, which sent 
out its main stem horizontally across the road, an object 
that seemed to have been singled out for injury where 
everything else was lovely and thriving, tortured into 
that shape by storms, which one might have thought 
could not have reached it in that sheltered place. 

We were now entering- into the Highlands. I believe 
Luss is the place where we were told that country begins ; 
but at these cottages I would have gladly believed that we 
were there, for it was like a new region. The huts were 
after the Highland fashion, and the boys who were playing 
wore the Highland dress and philabeg. On going into 
a new country I seem to myself to waken up, and after- 
wards it surprises me to remember how much alive I 
have been to the distinctions of dress, household 
arrangements, etc. etc., and what a spirit these little 
things give to wild, barren, or ordinary places. The 
cottages are within about two miles of Luss. Came in 
view of several islands ; but the lake being so very wide, 
we could see little of their peculiar beauties, and they, 
being large, hardly looked like islands. 

Passed another gentleman's house, which stands 
prettily in a bay, 1 and soon after reached Luss, where 
we intended to lodge. On seeing the outside of the inn 
we were glad that we were to have such pleasant quarters. 

1 Camstraddan House and bay. J. C. S. 


It is a nice-looking- white house, by the road-side ; but 
there was not much promise of hospitality when we 
stopped at the door: no person came out till we had 
shouted a considerable time. A barefooted lass showed 
me up-stairSj and again my hopes revived ; the house 
was clean for a Scotch inn, and the view very pleasant 
to the lake, over the top of the village a cluster of 
thatched houses among trees, with a large chapel in the 
midst of them. Like most of the Scotch kirks which we 
had seen, this building resembles a big house ; but it is 
a much more pleasing building than they generally are, 
and has one of our rustic belfries, not unlike that at 
Ambleside, with two bells hanging in the open air. We 
chose one of the back rooms to sit in, being more snug, 
and they looked upon a very sweet prospect a stream 
tumbling down a cleft or glen on the hill-side, rocky 
coppice ground, a rural lane, such as we have from house 
to house at Grasmere, and a few out-houses. We had a 
poor dinner, and sour ale ; but as long as the people 
were civil we were contented. 

Coleridge was not well, so he did not stir out, but 
William and I walked through the village to the shore of 
the lake. When I came close to the houses, I could 
not but regret a- want of loveliness correspondent with 
the beauty of the situation and the appearance of the 
village at a little distance ; not a single ornamented 
garden. We saw potatoes and cabbages, but never a 
honeysuckle. Yet there were wild gardens, as beautiful 
as any that ever man cultivated, overgrowing the roofs 
of some of the cottages, flowers and creeping plants. 
How elegant were the wreaths of the bramble that had 
"built its own bower" upon the riggins in several parts 
of the village ; therefore we had chiefly to regret the 
want of gardens, as they are symptoms of leisure and 
comfort, or at least of no painful industry. Here we 
first saw houses without windows, the smoke coming out 
of the open window-places ; the chimneys were like stools 
with four legs a hole being left in the roof for the 


smoke, and over that a slate placed upon four sticks 
sometimes the whole leaned as if It were going to fall. 
The fields close to Luss lie flat to the lake, and a river, 
as large as our stream near the church at Grasmere, 
flows by the end of the village, being the same which 
comes down the glen behind the inn ; it is very much 
like our stream beds of blue pebbles upon the shores. 

We walked towards the head of the lake, and from a 
large pasture field near Luss, a gentle eminence, had a 
very interesting view back upon the village and the 
lake and islands beyond. We then perceived that Luss 
stood in the centre of a spacious bay, and that close to 
it lay another small one, within the larger, where the 
boats of the inhabitants were lying at anchor, a beautiful 
natural harbour. The islands, as we look down the 
water, are seen in great beauty. Inch-ta-vanaach, the 
same that framed out the little peaceful lake which we 
had passed in the morning, towers above the rest. The 
lake is very wide here, and the opposite shores not 
being lofty the chief part of the permanent beauty of 
this view is among the islands, and on the near shore, 
including the low promontories of the bay of Luss, and 
the village ; and we saw it under its dullest aspect 
the air cold, the sky gloomy, without a glimpse of 

On a splendid evening, with the light of the sun 
diffused over the whole islands, distant hills, and the 
broad expanse of the lake, with its creeks, bays, and 
little slips of water among the islands, it must be a 
glorious sight. 

Up the lake there are no islands ; Ben Lomond 
terminates the view, without any other large mountains ; 
no clouds were upon it, therefore we saw the whole size 
and form of the mountain, yet it did not appear to me 
so large as Skiddaw does from Derwent- water. Con- 
tinued our walk a considerable way towards the head of 
the lake, and went up a high hill, but saw no other 
reach of the water. The hills on the Luss side become 


much steeper, and the lake, having narrowed a little 
above Luss, was no longer a very wide lake where we 
lost sight of it. 

Came to a bark hut by the shores, and sate for 
some time under the shelter of it. While we were here 
a poor woman with a little child by her side begged a 
penny of me, and asked where she could "find quarters 
in the village." She was a travelling beggar, a native 
of Scotland, had often " heard of that water," but was 
never there before. This woman's appearance, while 
the wind was rustling about us, and the waves breaking 
at our feet, was very melancholy: the waters looked 
wide, the hills many, and dark, and far off no house 
but at Luss. I thought what a dreary waste must this 
lake be to such poor creatures, struggling with fatigue 
and poverty and unknown ways ! 

We ordered tea when we reached the inn, and desired 
the girl to light us a fire ; she replied, " I dinna ken 
whether she'll gie fire, ;; meaning her mistress. We told 
her we did not wish, her mistress to give fire, we only 
desired her to let her make it and we would pay for it 
The girl brought in the tea-things, but no fire, and when 
I asked if she was coming to light it, she said "her 
mistress was not varra willing to gie fire." At last, 
however, on our insisting upon it, the fire was lighted : 
we got tea by candlelight, and spent a comfortable 
evening. I had seen the landlady before we went out, 
for, as had been usual in all the country inns, there was 
a demur respecting beds, notwithstanding the house was 
empty, and there were at least half-a-dozen spare beds. 
Her countenance corresponded with the unkindness of 
denying us a fire on a cold night, for she was the most 
cruel and hateful-looking woman I ever saw. She was 
overgrown with fat, and was sitting with her feet and 
legs in a tub of water for the dropsy, probably brought 
on by whisky-drinking. The sympathy which I felt and 
expressed for her, on seeing her in this wretched 
condition for her legs were swollen as thick as mill- 


posts seemed to produce no effect ; and I was obliged, 
after five minutes' conversation, to leave the affair of the 
beds undecided. Coleridge had some talk with her 
daughter, a smart lass in a cotton gown, with a bandeau 
round her head, without shoes and stockings. She told 
Coleridge with some pride that she had not spent all 
her time at Luss, but was then fresh from Glasgow. 

It came on a very stormy night ; the wind rattled 
every window in the house, and it rained heavily. 
William and Coleridge had bad beds, in a two-bedded 
room in the garrets, though there were empty rooms on 
the first floor, and they were disturbed by a drunken 
man, who had come to the inn when we were gone to 

Thursday \ August 25^. We were glad when we 
awoke to see that it was a fine morning the sky was 
bright blue, with quick-moving clouds, the hills cheerful, 
lights and shadows vivid and distinct. The village 
looked exceedingly beautiful this morning from the 
garret windows the stream glittering near it, while it 
flowed under trees through the level fields to the lake. 
After breakfast, William and I went down to the water- 
side. The roads were as dry as if no drop of rain had 
fallen, which added to the pure cheerfulness of the 
appearance of the village, and even of the distant 
prospect, an effect which I always seem to perceive from 
clearly bright roads, for they are always brightened by 
rain, after a storm ; but when we came among the 
houses I regretted even more than last night, because 
the contrast was greater, the slovenliness and dirt near 
the doors ; and could not but remember, with pain from 
the contrast, the cottages of Somersetshire, covered with 
roses and myrtle, and their small gardens of herbs and 
flowers. Wliile lingering by the shore we began to talk 
with a man who offered to row us to Inch-ta-vannach ; 
but the sky began to darken ; and the wind being high, 
we doubted whether we should venture, therefore made no 


engagement ; he offered to sell me some thread, pointing 
to his cottage, and added that many English ladies 
carried thread away from Luss. 

Presently after Coleridge joined us, and we determined 
to go to the island. I was sorry that the man who had 
been talking with us was not our boatman ; William by 
some chance had engaged another. We had two rowers 
and a strong boat ; so I felt myself bold, though there 
was a great chance of a high wind. The nearest point 
of Inch-ta-vannach is not perhaps more than a mile and a 
quarter from Luss ; we did not land there, but rowed 
round the end, and landed on that side which looks 
towards our favourite cottages, and their own island, 
which, wherever seen, is still their own. It rained a 
little when we landed, and I took my cloak, which 
afterwards served us to sit down upon in our road up 
the hill, when the day grew much finer, with gleams of 
sunshine. This island belongs to Sir James Colquhoun, 
who has made a convenient road, that winds gently to 
the top of it. 

We had not climbed far before we were stopped by a 
sudden burst of prospect, so singular and beautiful that 
it was like a flash of images from another world. We 
stood with our backs to the hill of the island, which we 
were ascending, and which shut out Ben Lomond 
entirely, and all the upper part of the lake, and we 
looked towards the foot of the lake, scattered over with 
islands without beginning and without end. The sun 
shone, and the distant hills were visible, some through 
sunny mists, others in gloom with patches of sunshine ; 
the lake was lost under the low and distant hills, and 
the islands lost in the lake, which was all in motion with 
travelling fields of light, or dark shadows under rainy 
clouds. There are many hills, but no commanding 
eminence at a distance to confine the prospect, so that 
the land seemed endless as the water. 

What I had heard of Loch Lomond, or any other 
place in Great Britain, had given me no idea of anything 


like what we beheld : it was an outlandish scene we 
might have believed ourselves in North America. The 
islands were of every possible variety of shape and sur- 
face hilly and level, large and small, bare, rocky, 
pastoral, or covered with wood. Immediately under my 
eyes lay one large flat island, bare and green, so flat 
and low that it scarcely appeared to rise above the 
water, with straggling peat-stacks and a single hut upon 
one of its out-shooting promontories for it was of a 
very irregular shape, though perfectly flat. Another, its 
next neighbour, and still nearer to us, was covered over 
with heath and coppice-wood, the surface undulating, 
with flat or sloping banks towards the water, and hollow 
places, cradle-like valleys, behind. These two islands, 
with Inch-ta-vannach, where we were standing, were in- 
termingled with the water, I might say interbedded 
and interveined with it, in a manner that was exquisitely 
pleasing. There were bays innumerable, straits or 
passages like calm rivers, landlocked lakes, and, to the 
main water, stormy promontories. The solitary hut on 
the flat green island seemed unsheltered and desolate, 
and yet not wholly so, for it was but a broad river's 
breadth from the covert of the wood of the other island. 
Near to these is a miniature, an islet covered with trees, 
on which stands a small ruin that looks like the remains 
of a religious house ; it is overgrown with ivy, and were 
it not that the arch of a window or gateway may be 
distinctly seen, it would be difficult to believe that it was 
not a tuft of trees growing in the shape of a ruin, rather 
than a ruin overshadowed by trees. When we had 
walked a little further we saw below us, on the nearest 
large island, where some of the wood had been cut down, 
a hut, which we conjectured to be a bark hut. It 
appeared to be on the shore of a little forest lake, en- 
closed by Inch-ta-vannach, where we were, and the 
woody island on which the hut stands. 

Beyond we had the same intricate view as before, 
and could discover Dumbarton rock with its double 


head. There being a mist over it, it had a ghost-like 
appearance as I observed to William and Coleridge, 
something like the Tor of Glastonbury from the Dorset- 
shire hills. Right before us, on the flat island mentioned 
before, were several small single trees or shrubs, growing 
at different distances from each other, close to the shore, 
but some optical delusion had detached them from the 
land on which they stood, and they had the appearance 
of so many little vessels sailing along the coast of it. I 
mention the circumstance, because, with the ghostly 
image of Dumbarton Castle, and the ambiguous ruin on 
the small island, it was much in the character of the 
scene, which was throughout magical and enchanting 
a new world in its great permanent outline and composi- 
tion, and changing at every moment in every part of it 
by the effect of sun and wind, and mist and shower and 
cloud, and the blending lights and deep shades which 
took the place of each other, traversing the lake in every 
direction. The whole was indeed a strange mixture of 
soothing and restless images, of images inviting to rest, 
and others hurrying the fancy away into an activity still 
more pleasing than repose. Yet, intricate and homeless, 
that is, without lasting abiding-place for the mind, as the 
prospect was, there was no perplexity ; we had still a 
guide to lead us forward. 

Wherever we looked, it was a delightful feeling that 
there was something beyond. Meanwhile, the sense of 
quiet was never lost sight of; the little peaceful lakes 
among the islands might make you forget that the great 
water, Loch Lomond, was so near ; and yet are more 
beautiful, because you know that it is so : they have 
their own bays and creeks sheltered within a shelter. 
When we had ascended to the top of the island we had 
a view up to Ben Lomond, over the long, broad water 
without spot or rock; and, looking backwards, saw the 
islands below us as on a map. This view, as may be 
supposed, was not nearly so interesting as those we had 
seen before. We hunted out all the houses on the shore, 


which were very few : there was the village of Luss, the 
two gentlemen's houses, our favourite cottages, and here 
and there a hut ; but I do not recollect any comfortable- 
looking farm-houses, and on the opposite shore not a 
single dwelling. The whole scene was a combination of 
natural wildness, loveliness, beauty, and barrenness, or 
rather bareness, yet not comfortless or cold ; but the 
whole was beautiful. We were too far off the more 
distant shore to distinguish any particular spots which 
we might have regretted were not better cultivated, and 
near Luss there was no want of houses. 

After we had left the island, having been so much 
taken with the beauty of the bark hut and the little lake 
by which it appeared to stand, we desired the boatman 
to row us through it, and we landed at the hut. Walked 
upon the island for some time, and found out sheltered 
places for cottages. There were several woodmen's huts, 
which, with some scattered fir-trees, and others in irre- 
gular knots, that made a delicious murmuring in the 
wind, added greatly to the romantic effect of the scene. 
They were built in the form of a cone from the ground, 
like savages' huts, the door being just large enough for 
a man to enter with stooping. Straw beds were raised 
on logs of wood, tools lying about, and a forked bough 
of a tree was generally suspended from the roof in the 
middle to hang a kettle upon. It was a place that 
might have been just visited by new settlers. I thought 
of Ruth and her dreams of romantic love : 

And then he said how sweet it were, 

A fisher or a hunter there, 

A gardener in the shade, 

Still wandering with an easy mind, 

To build a household fire, and find 

A home in every glacle. 

We found the main lake very stormy when we had 
left the shelter of the islands, and there was again a 
threatening of rain, but it did not come on. I wanted 

1 See Ruth, stanza xzzi. -ED. 


much to go to the old ruin, but the boatmen were in a 
hurry to be at home. They told us it had been a strong- 
hold built by a man who lived there alone, and was used 
to swim over and make depredations on the shore, that 
nobody could ever lay hands on him, he was such a good 
swimmer, but at last they caught him in a net. The 
men pointed out to us an island belonging to Sir James 
Colquhoun, on which were a great quantity of deer. 

Arrived at the inn at about twelve o'clock, and pre- 
pared to depart immediately : we should have gone with 
great regret if the weather had been warmer and the inn 
more comfortable. When we were leaving the door, a 
party with smart carriage and servants drove up, and I 
observed that the people of the house were just as slow 
in their attendance upon them as on us, with one single 
horse and outlandish Hibernian vehicle. 

When we had travelled about two miles the lake 
became considerably narrower, the hills rocky, covered 
with copses, or bare, rising more immediately from the 
bed of the water, and therefore we had not so often to 
regret the want of inhabitants. Passed by, or saw at a 
distance, sometimes a single cottage, or two or three 
together, but the whole space between Luss and Tarbet 
is a solitude to the eye. We were reminded of U Is water, 
but missed the pleasant farms, and the mountains were 
not so interesting : we had not seen them in companies 
or brotherhoods rising one above another at a long 
distance. Ben Lomond stood alone, opposite to us, 
majestically overlooking the lake ; yet there was some- 
thing in this mountain which disappointed me, a want 
of massiveness and simplicity, perhaps from the top 
being broken into three distinct stages. The road 
carried us over a bold promontory by a steep and high 
ascent, and we had a long view of the lake pushing itself 
up in a narrow line through an avenue of mountains, 
terminated by the mountains at the head of the lake, of 
which Ben Lui, if I do not mistake, is the most con- 
siderable. The afternoon was showery and misty, there- 


fore we did not see this prospect so distinctly as we could 
have wished, but there was a grand obscurity over it 
which might make the mountains appear more numerous. 

I have said so much of this lake that I am tired 
myself, and I fear I must have tired my friends. We 
had a pleasant journey to Tarbet ; more than half of it 
on foot, for the road was hilly, and after we had climbed 
one small hill we were not desirous to get into the car 
again, seeing another before us, and our path was always 
delightful, near the lake, and frequently through woods. 
When we were within about half a mile of Tarbet, at a 
sudden turning looking to the left, we saw a very craggy- 
topped mountain amongst other smooth ones ; the rocks 
on the summit distinct in shape as if they were buildings 
raised up by man, or uncouth images of some strange 
creature. We called out with one voice, * That's what 
we wanted 1 ' alluding to the frame -like uniformity of 
the side-screens of the lake for the last five or six miles. 
As we conjectured, this singular mountain was the famous 
Cobbler, near Arrochar. Tarbet was before us in the 
recess of a deep, large bay, under the shelter of a hill. 
When we came up to the village we had to inquire for 
the inn, there being no signboard. It was a well-sized 
white house, the best in the place. We were conducted 
up-stairs into a sitting-room that might make any good- 
humoured travellers happy a square room, with windows 
on each side, looking, one way, towards the mountains, 
and across the lake to Ben Lomond, the other. 

There was a pretty stone house before (i.e. towards 
the lake) some huts, scattered trees, two or three green 
iields with hedgerows, and a little brook making its way 
towards the lake ; the fields are almost fiat, and screened 
on that side nearest the head of the lake by a hill, which, 
pushing itself out, forms the bay of Tarbet, and, towards 
the foot, by a gentle slope and trees. The lake is narrow, 
and Ben Lomoncl shuts up the prospect, rising directly 
from the water. We could have believed ourselves to 
be by the side of Ulswater, at Glenridden, or in some 


other of the inhabited retirements of that lake. We 
were in a sheltered place among mountains ; it was not 
an open joyous bay, with a cheerful populous village, like 
Luss ; but a pastoral and retired spot, with a few single 
dwellings. The people of the inn stared at us when we 
spoke, without giving us an answer immediately, which 
we were at first disposed to attribute to coarseness of 
manners, but found afterwards that they did not under- 
stand us at once, Erse being the language spoken in the 
family. Nothing but salt meat and eggs for dinner no 
potatoes ; the house smelt strongly of herrings, which 
were hung to dry over the kitchen fire. 

Walked in the evening towards the head of the lake ; 
the road was steep over the hill, and when we had 
reached the top of it we had long views up and down 
the water. Passed a troop of women who were resting 
themselves by the roadside, as if returning from their 
day's labour. Amongst them was a man, who had 
walked with us a considerable way in the morning, and 
told us he was just come from America, where he had 
been for some years, was going to his own home, and 
should return to America. He spoke of emigration as 
a glorious thing for them who had money. Poor fellow ! 
I do not think that he had brought much back with him, 
for he had worked his passage over : I much suspected 
that a bundle, which he carried upon a stick, tied in a 
pocket-handkerchief, contained his all. He was almost 
blind, he said, as were many of the crew. He intended 
crossing the lake at the ferry ; but it was stormy, and 
he thought he should not be able to get over that day. 
I could not help smiling when I saw him lying by the 
roadside with such a company about him, not like a 
wayfaring man, but seeming as much at home and at his 
ease as if he had just stepped out of his hut among them, 
and they had been neighbours all their lives. Passed 
one pretty house, a large thatched dwelling with out- 
houses, but the prospect above and below was solitary. 

The sun had long been set before we returned to the 


inn. As travellers, we were glad to see the moon over 
the top of one of the hills, but it was a cloudy night, 
without any peculiar beauty or solemnity. After tea we 
made inquiries respecting- the best way to go to Loch 
Ketterine ; the landlord could give but little information, 
and nobody seemed to know anything distinctly of the 
place, though it was but ten miles off. We applied to 
the maid-servant who waited on us : she was a fine- 
looking young woman, dressed in a white bed-gown, her 
hair fastened up by a comb, and without shoes and 
stockings. When we asked her about the Trossachs 
she could give us no information, but on our saying, 
" Do you know Loch Ketterine ? " she answered with a 
smile, cc I should know that loch, for I was bred and born 
there." After much difficulty we learned from her that 
the Trossachs were at the foot of the lake, and that by 
the way we were to go we should come upon them at 
the head, should have to travel ten miles to the foot 1 of 
the water, and that there was no inn by the way. The 
girl spoke English very distinctly ; but she had few 
words, and found it difficult to understand us. She did 
not much encourage us to go, because the roads were 
bad, and it was a long way, " and there was no putting- 
up for the like of us." We determined, however, to 
venture, and throw ourselves upon the hospitality of some 
cottager or gentleman. We desired the landlady to 
roast us a couple of fowls to carry with us. There are 
always plenty of fowls at the doors of a Scotch inn, and 
eggs are as regularly brought to table at breakfast as 
bread and butter, 

Friday, August 26th. We did not set off till between 
ten and eleven o'clock, much too late for a long day's 

1 This distinction between the foot and head is not very clear. 
What is meant is this : They would have to travel the whole length 
of the lake, from the west to the east end of it, before they came 
to the Trossachs, the pass leading away from the east end of the 
lake. J, C. S. 


journey. Our boatman lived at the pretty white house 
which we saw from the windows : we called at his door 
by the way, and, even when we were near the house, the 
outside looked comfortable ; but within I never saw 
anything so miserable from dirt, and dirt alone : it 
reminded one of the house of a decayed weaver in the 
suburbs of a large town, with a sickly wife and a large 
family ; but William says it was far worse, that it was 
quite Hottentotish. 

After long waiting, and many clumsy preparations, 
we got ourselves seated in the boat ; but we had not 
floated five yards before we perceived that if any of the 
party and there was a little Highland woman who was 
going over the water with us, the boatman, his helper, 
and ourselves should stir but a few inches, leaning to 
one side or the other, the boat would be full in an instant, 
and we at the bottom ; besides, it was very leaky, and 
the woman was employed to lade out the water 
continually. It appeared that this crazy vessel was not 
the man's own, and that his was lying in a bay at a little 
distance. He said he would take us to it as fast as 
possible, but I was so much frightened I would gladly 
have given up the whole day's journey ; indeed not one 
of us would have attempted to cross the lake in that boat 
for a thousand pounds. We reached the larger boat in 
safety after coasting a considerable way near the shore, 
but just as we were landing, William dropped the bundle 
which contained our food into the water. The fowls 
were no worse, but some sugar, ground coffee, and 
pepper-cake seemed to be entirely spoiled. We gathered 
together as much of the coffee and sugar as we could 
and tied it up, and again trusted ourselves to the 
lake. The sun shone, and the air was calm luckily it 
had been so while we were in the crazy boat we had 
rocks and woods on each side of us, or bare hills ; 
seldom a single cottage, and there was no rememberable 
place till we came opposite to a waterfall of no inconsider- 
able size, that appeared to drop directly into the lake : 


close to it was a hut, which we were told was the ferry- 
house. On the other side of the lake was a pretty farm 
under the mountains, beside a river, the cultivated 
grounds lying all together, and sloping towards the lake 
from the mountain hollow down which the river came. 
It is not easy to conceive how beautiful these spots 
appeared after moving on so long between the solitary 

We went a considerable way further, and landed at 
Rob Roy's Caves, which are in fact no caves, but some 
fine rocks on the brink of the lake, in the crevices of 
which a man might hide himself cunningly enough ; the 
water is very deep below them, and the hills above steep 
and covered with wood. The little Highland woman, 
who was in size about a match for our guide at Lanerk, 
accompanied us hither. There was something very 
gracious in the manners of this woman ; she could 
scarcely speak five English words, yet she gave me, 
whenever I spoke to her, as many intelligible smiles as 
I had needed English words to answer me, and helped 
me over the rocks in the most obliging manner. She 
had left the boat out of good-will to us, or for her own 
amusement. She had never seen these caves before ; 
but no cloubt had heard of them, the tales of Rob Roy's 
exploits being tolcl familiarly round the "ingles" here- 
abouts, for this neighbourhood was his home. We landed 
at Inversneyde, the ferry-house by the waterfall, and' 
were not sorry to part with our boatman, who was a coarse 
hard-featured man, and, speaking of the French, uttered 
the basest and most cowardly sentiments. His helper, 
a youth fresh from the Isle of Skye, was innocent of this 
fault, and though but a bad rower, was a far better com- 
panion ; he could not speak a word of English, and sang 
a plaintive Gaelic air in a low tone while he plied his oar. 

The ferry-house stood on the bank a few yards above 
the landing-place where the boat lies. It is a small hut 
under a steep wood, and a few yards to the right, 
looking towards the hut, is the waterfall. The fall is not 


very high, but the stream is considerable, as we could 
see by the large black stones that were lying bare, but 
the rains, if they had reached this place, had had little 
effect upon the waterfall ; its noise was not so great as 
to form a contrast with the stillness of the bay into 
which it falls, where the boat, and house, and waterfall 
itself seemed all sheltered and protected. The Highland 
woman was to go with us the two first miles of our 
journey. She led us along a bye foot-path a shorter way 
up the hill from the ferry-house. There is a considerable 
settling in the hills that border Loch Lomond, at the 
passage by which we were to cross to Loch Ketterine ; 
Ben Lomond, terminating near the ferry-house, is on the 
same side of the water with it, and about three miles 
above Tarbet. 

We had to climb right up the hill, which is very 
steep, and, when close under it, seemed to he high, but 
we soon reached the top, and when we were there had 
lost sight of the lake ; and now our road was over a 
moor, or rather through a wide moorland hollow. 
Having gone a little way, we saw before us, at the 
distance of about half a mile, a very large stone building, 
a singular structure, with a high wall round it, naked hill 
above, and neither field nor tree near ; but the moor 
was not overgrown with heath merely, but grey grass, 
such as cattle might pasture upon. We could not 
conjecture what this building was ; it appeared as if it had 
been built strong to defend it from storms ; hut for what 
purpose? William called out to us that we should 
observe that place well, for it was exactly like one of the 
spittals of the Alps, built for the reception of travellers, 
and indeed I had thought it must be so before he spoke. 
This building, from its singular structure and appearance, 
made the place, which is itself in a country like Scotland 
nowise remarkable, take a character of unusual wildness 
and desolation this when we first came in view of it ; 
and afterwards, when we had passed it and looked back, 
three pyramidal mountains on the opposite side of Loch 


Lomond terminated the view, which under certain 
accidents of weather must be very grand. Our Highland 
companion had not English enough to give us any 
information concerning this strange building ; we could 
only get from her that it was a "large house," which 
was plain enough. 

We walked about a mile and a half over the moor 
without seeing any other dwelling but one hut by the 
bum-side, with a peat-stack and a ten-yards-square 
enclosure for potatoes ; then we came to several clusters 
of houses, even hamlets they might be called, but where 
there is any land belonging to the Highland huts there 
are so many out-buildings near, which differ in no respect 
from the dwelling-houses except that they send out no 
smoke, that one house looks like two or three. Near 
these houses was a considerable quantity of cultivated 
ground, potatoes and corn, and the people were busy 
making hay in the hollow places of the open vale, and 
all along the sides of the becks. It was a pretty sight 
altogether men and women, dogs, the little running 
streams, with linen bleaching near them, and cheerful 
sunny hills and rocks on every side. We passed by one 
patch of potatoes that a florist might have been proud of ; 
no carnation-bed ever looked more gay than this square 
plot of ground on the waste common. The flowers were 
in very large bunches, and of an extraordinary size, and 
of every conceivable shade of colouring from snow-white 
to deep purple. It was pleasing in that place, where 
perhaps was never yet a flower cultivated by man for his 
own pleasure, to see these blossoms grow more gladly 
than elsewhere, making a summer garden near the 
mountain dwellings. 

At one of the clusters of houses we parted with our 
companion, who had insisted on bearing my bundle 
while she stayed with us. I often tried to enter into 
conversation with her, and seeing a small tarn before us } 
was reminded of the pleasure of fishing and the manner 
of living there, and asked her what sort of food was 


eaten in that place, if they lived much upon fish, or had 
mutton from the hills ; she looked earnestly at me, and 
shaking her head, replied, " Oh yes ! eat fish no papists, 
eat everything-." The tarn had one small island covered 
with wood j the stream that runs from it falls into Loch 
Ketterine, which, after we had gone a little beyond the 
tarn, we saw at some distance before us. 

Pursued the road, a mountain horse-track, till we 
came to a comer of what seemed the head of the lake, 
and there sate down completely tired, and hopeless as 
to the rest of our journey. The road ended at the 
shore, and no houses were to be seen on the opposite 
side except a few widely parted huts, and on the near 
side was a trackless heath. The land at the head of 
the lake was but a continuation of the common we had 
come along, and was covered with heather, intersected 
by a few straggling foot-paths. 

Coleridge and I were faint with hunger, and could go 
no further till we had refreshed ourselves, so we ate up 
one of our fowls, and drank of the water of Loch 
Ketterine ; but William could not be easy till he had 
examined the coast, so he left us, and made his way 
along the moor across the head of the lake. Coleridge 
and I, as we sate, had what seemed to us but a dreary 
prospect a waste of unknown ground which we guessed 
we must travel over before it was possible for us to find 
a shelter. We saw a long way down the lake ; it was 
all rnoor on the near side ; on the other the hills were 
steep from the water, and there were large coppice- woods, 
but no cheerful green fields, and no road that we could 
see ; we knew, however, that there must be a road from 
house to house ; but the whole lake appeared a solitude 
neither boats, islands, nor houses, no grandeur in the 
hills, nor any loveliness in the shores. When we first 
came in view of it we had said it was like a barren Uls- 
water Ulswater dismantled of its grandeur, and cropped 
of its lesser beauties. When I had swallowed my 
dinner I hastened after William, and Coleridge followed 


me. Walked through the heather with some labour for 
perhaps half a mile, and found William sitting on the 
top of a small eminence, whence we saw the real head 
of the lake, which was pushed up into the vale a 
considerable way beyond the promontory where we now 
sate. The view up the lake was very pleasing, resem- 
bling Thirlemere below Armath. There were rocky 
promontories and woody islands, and, what was most 
cheering to us, a neat white house on the opposite 
shore ; but we could see no boats, so, in order to get to 
it we should be obliged to go round the head of the 
lake, a long and weary way. 

After Coleridge came up to us, while we were debat- 
ing whether we should turn back or go forward, we 
espied a man on horseback at a little distance, with a 
boy following him on foot, no doubt a welcome sight, 
and we hailed him. We should have been glad to have 
seen either man, woman, or child at this time, but there 
was something uncommon and interesting in this man's 
appearance, which would have fixed our attention 
wherever we had met him. He was a complete High- 
lander in dress, figure, and face, and a very fine-looking 
man, hardy and vigorous, though past his prime. 
While he stood waiting for us in his bonnet and plaid, 
which never look more graceful than on horseback, I 
forgot our errand, and only felt glad that we were in the 
Highlands. William accosted him with, a Sir, do you 
speak English?" He replied, "A little." He spoke 
however, sufficiently well for our purpose, and very 
distinctly, as all the Highlanders do who learn English 
as a foreign language ; but in a long conversation they 
want words ; he informed us that he himself was going 
beyond the Trossachs, to Callander, that no boats were 
kept to " let " j but there were two gentlemen's houses 
at this end of the lake, one of which we could not yet 
see, it being hidden from us by a part of the hill on 
which we stood. The other house was that which we 
saw opposite to us ; both the gentlemen kept boats, and 


probably might be able to spare one of their servants to 
go with us. After we had asked many questions, which 
the Highlander answered with patience and courtesy, 
he parted from us, going along a sort of horse-track, 
which a foot-passenger, if he once get into it, need not 
lose if he be careful. 

When he was gone we again debated whether we 
should go back to Tarbet, or throw ourselves upon the 
mercy of one of the two gentlemen for a night's lodging. 
What we had seen of the main body of the lake made 
us little desire to see more of it ; the Highlander upon 
the naked heath, in his Highland dress, upon his careful- 
going horse, with the boy following him, was worth it 
all ; but after a little while we resolved to go on, 
ashamed to shrink from an adventure. Pursued the 
horse-track, and soon came in sight of the other gentle- 
man's house, which stood on the opposite side of the 
vale, a little above the lake. It was a white house ; no 
trees near it except a new plantation of firs ; but the 
fields were green, sprinkled over with hay-cocks, and 
the brook which comes down the valley and falls into 
the lake ran through them. It was like a new-made 
farm in a mountain vale, and yet very pleasing after the 
depressing prospect which had been before us. 

Our road was rough, and not easy to be kept. It 
was between five and six o'clock when we reached the 
brook side, where Coleridge and I stopped, and William 
went up towards the house, which was in a field, where 
about half a dozen people were at work. He addressed 
himself to one who appeared like the master, and all 
drew near him, staring at William as nobody could have 
stared but out of sheer rudeness, except in such a lonely 
place. He told his tale, and inquired about boats ; 
there were no boats, and no lodging nearer than 
Callander, ten miles beyond the foot of the lake. A 
laugh was on every face when William said we were 
come to see the Trossachs ; no doubt they thought we 
had better have stayed at our own homes. William 


endeavoured to make it appear not so very foolish, by 
informing them that it was a place much celebrated in 
England, though perhaps little thought of by them, 
and that we only differed from many of our countrymen 
in having come the wrong way in consequence of an 
erroneous direction. 

After a little time the gentleman said we should be 
accommodated with such beds as they had, and should 
be welcome to rest in their house if we pleased. William 
came back for Coleridge and me ; the men all stood at 
the door to receive us, and now their behaviour was 
perfectly courteous. We were conducted into the house 
by the same man who had directed us hither on the 
other side of the lake, and afterwards we learned that he 
was the father of our hostess. He showed us into a 
room up-stairs, begged we would sit at our ease, walk 
out, or do just as we pleased. It was a large square 
deal wainscoted room, the wainscot black with age, yet 
had never been painted : it did not look like an English 
room, and yet I do not know in what it differed, except 
that in England it is not common to see so large and 
well-built a room so ill-furnished : there were two or 
three large tables, and a few old chairs of different sorts, 
as if they had been picked up one did not know how, at 
sales, or had belonged to different rooms of the house 
ever since it was built. We sat perhaps three-quarters 
of an hour, and I was about to carry down our wet coffee 
and sugar and ask leave to boil it, when the mistress of 
the house entered, a tall fine -looking woman, neatly 
dressed in a dark-coloured gown, with a white handker- 
chief tied round her head ; she spoke to us in a very 
pleasing manner, begging permission to make tea for us, 
an offer which we thankfully accepted. Encouraged by 
the sweetness of her manners, I went down-stairs to dry 
my feet by the kitchen fire ; she lent me a pair of stock- 
ings, and behaved to me with the utmost attention and 
kindness. She carried the tea-things into the room 
herself, leaving me to make tea, and set before us cheese 


and butter and barley cakes. These cakes are as thin 
as our oat-bread, but, instead of being crisp, are soft and 
leathery, yet we, being hungry, and the butter delicious, 
ate them with great pleasure, but when the same bread 
was set before us afterwards we did not like it. 

After tea William and I walked out ; we amused 
ourselves with watching the Highlanders at work : they 
went leisurely about everything, and whatever was to be 
done, all followed, old men, and young, and little 
children. We were driven into the house by a shower, 
which came on with the evening darkness, and the 
people leaving their work paused at the same time. I 
was pleased to see them a while after sitting round a 
blazing fire in the kitchen, father and son-in-law, master 
and man, and the mother with her little child on her 
knee. When I had been there before tea I had observed 
what a contrast there was between the mistress and her 
kitchen ; she did not differ in appearance from an 
English country lady ; but her kitchen, roof, walls, and 
floor of mud, was all black alike ; yet now, with the 
light of a bright fire upon so many happy countenances, 
the whole room made a pretty sight. 

We heard the company laughing and talking long- 
after we were in bed ; indeed I believe they never work 
till they are tired. 1 The children could not speak a word 
of English : they were very shy at 'first ; but after I had 
caressed the eldest, and given her a red leather purse, 
with which she was delighted, she took hold of my hand 
and hung about me, changing her side-long looks for 
pretty smiles. Her mother lamented they were so far 
from school, they should be obliged to send the children 
down into the Lowlands to be taught reading and 
English. Callander, the nearest town, was twenty miles 
from them, and it was only a small place: they had 
their groceries from Glasgow. She said that at Callander 
was their nearest church, but sometimes " got a preach- 

1 She means that they stop work before they are tired. ED. 


ing at the Garrison." In explaining herself she informed 
us that the large building which had puzzled us in the 
morning had been built by Government, at the request 
of one of the Dukes of Montrose, for the defence of his 
domains against the attacks of Rob Roy. I will not 
answer for the truth of this ; perhaps it might have been 
built for this purpose, and as a check on the Highlands 
in general ; certain it is, however, that it was a garrison ; 
soldiers used to be constantly stationed there, and have 
only been withdrawn within the last thirteen or fourteen 
years. Mrs. Macfarlane attended me to my room ; she 
said she hoped I should be able to sleep upon blankets, 
and said they were " fresh from the fauld." 

Saturday, Aiigust 27^. Before I rose, Mrs. 
Macfarlane came into my room to see if I wanted any- 
thing, and told me she should send the servant up with 
a basin of whey, saying, "We make very good whey in 
this country " ; indeed, I thought it the best I had ever 
tasted ; but I cannot tell how this should be, for they 
only make skimmed-milk cheeses. I asked her for a 
little bread and milk for our breakfast, but she said it 
would be no trouble to make tea, as she must make it 
for the family ; so we all breakfasted together. The 
cheese was set out, as before, with plenty of butter and 
barley-cakes, and fresh baked oaten cakes, which, no 
doubt, were made for us : they had been kneaded with 
cream, and were excellent. All the party pressed us to 
eat, and were very jocose about the necessity of helping 
out their coarse bread with butter, and they themselves 
ate almost as much butter as bread. In talking of the 
French and the present times, their language was what 
most people would call Jacobinical. They spoke much 
of the oppressions endured by the Highlanders further 
up, of the absolute impossibility of their living in any 
comfort, and of the cruelty of laying so many restraints 
on emigration. Then they spoke with animation of the 
attachment of the clans to their lairds: "The laird of 


this place, Glengyle, where we live, could have com- 
manded so many men who would have followed him to 
the death ; and now there are none left." It appeared 
that Mr. Macfarlane, and his wife's brother, Mr. 
Macalpine, farmed the place, inclusive of the whole vale 
upwards to the mountains, and the mountains themselves, 
under the lady of Glengyle, the mother of the young 
laird, a minor. It was a sheep-farm. 

Speaking of another neighbouring laird, they said he 
had gone, like the rest of them, to Edinburgh, left his 
lands and his own people, spending his money where it 
brought him not any esteem, so that he was of no value 
either at home or abroad. We mentioned Rob Roy, 
and the eyes of all glistened ; even the lady of the 
house, who was very diffident, and no great talker, 
exclaimed, "He was a good man, Rob Roy! he had 
been dead only about eighty years, had lived in the next 
farm, which belonged to him, and there his bones were 
laid." 1 He was a famous swordsman. Having an arm 
much longer than other men, he had a greater command 
with his sword. As a proof of the length of his arm, 
they told us that he could garter his tartan stockings 
below the knee without stooping, and added a dozen 
different stories of single combats, which he had fought, 
all in perfect good-humour, merely to prove his prowess. 
I daresay they had stories of this kind which would 
hardly have been exhausted in the long evenings of a 
whole December week, Rob Roy being as famous here 
as ever Robin Hood was in the Forest of Sherwood ; he 
also robbed from the rich, giving to the poor, and 
defending them from oppression. They tell of his con- 

1 There is a mistake here. His bones were laid about fifteen or 
twenty miles from thence, in Balquhidder kirkyard. But it was 
under the belief that his ' ' grave is near the head of Loch Ketterine, 
in one of those pinfold -like burial grounds, of neglected and 
desolate appearance, which the traveller meets with in the Highlands 
of Scotland," that the well-known poem on Rob Roy's Grave 
was composed, J. C. S. 


fining the factor of the Duke of Montrose in one of the 
islands of Loch Ketterine, after having taken his money 
from him the Duke's rents in open day, while they 
were sitting at table. He was a formidable enemy of 
the Duke, but being a small laird against a greater, 
was overcome at last, and forced to resign all his lands 
on the Braes of Loch Lomond, including the caves which 
we visited, on account of the money he had taken from 
the Duke and could not repay. 

When breakfast was ended the mistress desired the 
person whom we took to be her husband to " return 
thanks." He said a short grace, and in a few minutes 
they all went off to their work. We saw them about 
the door following one another like a flock of sheep, 
with the children after, whatever job they were engaged 
in. Mrs. Macfarlane told me she would show me the 
burying-place of the lairds of Glengyle, and took me to 
a square enclosure like a pinfold, with a stone ball at 
every corner; we had noticed it the evening before, 
and wondered what it could be. It was in the middle 
of a "planting," as they call plantations, which was 
enclosed for the preservation of the trees, therefore we 
had to climb over a high wall : it was a dismal spot, 
containing four or five graves overgrown with long grass, 
nettles, and brambles. Against the wall was a marble 
monument to the memory of one of the lairds, of whom 
they spoke with veneration : some English verses were 
inscribed upon the marble, purporting that he had been 
the father of his clan, a brave and good man. When 
we returned to the house she said she would show me 
what curious feathers they had in their country, and 
brought out a bunch carefully wrapped up in paper. On 
my asking her what bird they came from, " Oh ! " she 
replied, " it is a great beast " We conjectured it was an 
eagle, and from her description of its ways, and the 
manner of destroying it, we knew it was so. She begged 
me to accept of some of the feathers, telling me that 
some ladies wore them in their heads. I was much 


pleased with the gift, which I shall preserve in memory 
of her kindness and simplicity of manners, and the 
Highland solitude where she lived. 

We took leave of the family with regret : they were 
handsome, healthy, and happy-looking people. It was 
ten o'clock when we departed. We had learned that 
there was a ferry-boat kept at three miles' distance, and 
if the man was at home he would row us down the lake 
to the Trossachs. Our walk was mostly through coppice- 
woods, along a horse-road, upon which narrow carts 
might travel. Passed that white house which had looked 
at us with such a friendly face when we were on the 
other side ; it stood on the slope of a hill, with green 
pastures below it, plots of corn and coppice-wood, and 
behind, a rocky steep covered with wood. It was a 
very pretty place, but the morning being cold and dull 
the opposite shore appeared dreary. Near to the white 
house we passed by another of those little pinfold 
squares, which we knew to be a burying-place ; it was 
in a sloping green field among woods, and within sound 
of the beating of the water against the shore, if there 
were but a gentle breeze to stir it : I thought if I lived 
in that house, and my ancestors and kindred were buried 
there, I should sit many an hour under the walls of this 
plot of earth, where all the household would be gathered 

We found the ferryman at work in the field above his 
hut, and he was at liberty to go with us, but, being wet 
and hungry, we begged that he would let us sit by his 
fire till we had refreshed ourselves. This was the first 
genuine Highland hut we had been in. We entered by 
the cow-house, the house -door being within, at right 
angles to the outer door. The woman was distressed 
that she had a bad fire, but she heaped up some dry 
peats and heather, and, blowing it with her breath, in a 
short time raised a blaze that scorched us into comfort- 
able feelings. A small part of the smoke found its way 
out of the hole of the chimney, the rest through the open 


window-places, one of which was within the recess of the 
fireplace, and made a frame to a little picture of the 
restless lake and the opposite shore, seen when the outer 
door was open. The woman of the house was very 
kind : whenever we asked her for anything it seemed a 
fresh pleasure to her that she had it for us ; she always 
answered with a sort of softening down of the Scotch 
exclamation, Hoot ! " " Ho ! yes, ye'll get that," and 
hied to her cupboard in the spence. We were amused 
with the phrase " Ye'll get that J; in the Highlands, which 
appeared to us as if it came from a perpetual feeling of the 
difficulty with which most things are procured. We got 
oatmeal, butter, bread and milk, made some porridge, 
and then departed. It was rainy and cold, with a strong 

Coleridge was afraid of the cold in the boat, so he 
determined to walk down the lake, pursuing the same 
road we had come along. There was nothing very 
interesting for the first three or four miles on either side 
of the water : to the right, uncultivated heath or poor 
coppice-wood, and to the left, a scattering of meadow 
ground, patches of corn, coppice-woods, and here and 
there a cottage. The wind fell, and it began to rain 
heavily. On this William wrapped himself in the boat- 
man's plaid, and lay at the bottom of the boat till we 
came to a place where I could not help rousing him. 

We were rowing down tliat side of the lake which 
had hitherto been little else than a moorish ridge. After 
turning a rocky point we came to a bay closed in by 
rocks and steep woods, chiefly of full-grown birch. The 
lake was elsewhere rufHed, but at the entrance of this 
bay the breezes sunk, and it was calm : a small island 
was near, and the opposite shore, covered with wood, 
looked soft through the misty rain. William, rubbing 
his eyes, for he had been asleep, called out that he 
hoped I had not let him pass by anything that was so 
beautiful as this ; and I was glad to tell him that it 
was but the beginning of a new land. After we had 


left this bay we saw before us a long reach of woods and 
rocks and rocky points, that promised other bays more 
beautiful than what we had passed. The ferryman was a 
good-natured fellow, and rowed very industriously, follow- 
ing the ins and outs of the shore ; he was delighted with 
the pleasure we expressed, continually repeating how 
pleasant it would have been on a fine day. I believe he 
was attached to the lake by some sentiment of pride, as 
his own domain his being almost the only boat upon it 
which made him, seeing we were willing gazers, take 
far more pains than an ordinary boatman ; he would 
often say, after he had compassed the turning of a point, 
" This is a bonny part," and he always chose the bonniest, 
with greater skill than our prospect-hunters and " pictur- 
esque travellers " ; places screened from the winds that 
was the first point ; the rest followed of course, richer 
growing trees, rocks and banks, and curves which the 
eye delights in. 

The second bay we came to differed from the rest ; 
the hills retired a short space from the lake, leaving a 
few level fields between, on which was a cottage em- 
bosomed in trees : the bay was defended by rocks at 
each end, and the hills behind made a shelter for the 
cottage, the only dwelling, I believe, except one, on this 
side of Loch Ketterine. We now came to steeps that 
rose directly from the lake, and passed by a place called 
in the Gaelic the Den of the Ghosts, 1 which reminded 
us of Lodore ; it is a rock, or mass of rock, with a stream 
of large black stones like the naked or dried-up bed of a 
torrent down the side of it ; birch-trees start out of the 
rock in every direction, and cover the hill above, further 
than we could see. The water of the lake below was 
very deep, black, and calm. Our delight increased as 
we advanced, till we came in view of the termination of 
the lake, seeing where the river issues out of it through 
a narrow chasm between the hills. 

1 Goblins' Cave. -J. C. S. 


Here I ought to rest, as we rested, and attempt to 
give utterance to our pleasure : but indeed I can impart 
but little of what we felt. We were still on the same 
side of the water, and, being immediately under the hill, 
within a considerable bending of the shore, we were en- 
closed by hills all round, as if we had been upon a 
smaller lake of which the whole was visible. It was an 
entire solitude ; and all that we beheld was the perfection 
of loveliness and beauty. 

We had been through many solitary places since we 
came into Scotland, but this place differed as much from 
any we had seen before, as if there had been nothing in 
common between them ; no thought of dreariness or 
desolation found entrance here ; yet nothing was to be 
seen but water, wood, rocks, and heather, and bare 
mountains above. We saw the mountains by glimpses 
as the clouds passed by them, and were not disposed to 
regret, with our boatman, that it was not a fine day, for 
the near objects were not concealed from us, but softened 
by being seen through the mists. The lake is not very 
wide here, but appeared to be much narrower than it 
really is, owing to the many promontories, which are 
pushed so far into it that they are much more like islands 
than promontories. We had a longing desire to row to 
the outlet and look up into the narrow passage through 
which the river went ; but the point where we were to 
land was on the other side, so we bent our course right 
across, and just as we came in sight of two huts, which 
have been built by Lady Perth as a shelter for those who 
visit the Trossachs, Coleridge hailed us with a shout of 
triumph from the door of one of them, exulting in the 
glory of Scotland. The huts stand at a small distance 
from each other, on a high and perpendicular rock, that 
rises from the bed of the lake. A road, which has a 
very wild appearance, has been cut through the rock ; 
yet even here, among these bold precipices, the feeling 
of excessive beautifulness overcomes every other. While 
we were upon the lake, on every side of us were bays 



within bays, often more like tiny lakes or pools than 
bays, and these not in long succession only, but all 
round, some almost on the broad breast of the water, 
the promontories shot out so far. 

After we had landed we walked along the road to the 
uppermost of the huts, where Coleridge was standing. 
From the door of this hut we saw Benvenue opposite to 
us a high mountain, but clouds concealed its top ; its 
side, rising directly from the lake, is covered with birch- 
trees to a great height, and seamed with innumerable 
channels of torrents ; but now there was no water in 
them, nothing to break in upon the stillness and repose 
of the scene ; nor do I recollect hearing the sound of 
water from any side, the wind being fallen and the lake 
perfectly still ; the place was all eye, and completely 
satisfied the sense and the heart Above and below us, 
to the right and to the left, were rocks, knolls, and hills, 
which, wherever anything could grow and that was 
everywhere between the rocks were covered with trees 
and heather ; the trees did not in any place grow so 
thick as an ordinary wood ; yet I think there was never 
a bare space of twenty yards : it was more like a natural 
forest where the trees grow in groups or singly, not 
hiding the surface of the ground, which, instead of being 
green and mossy, was of the richest purple. The heather 
was indeed the most luxuriant I ever saw ; it was so tall 
that a child of ten years old struggling through it would 
often have been buried head and shoulders, and the 
exquisite beauty of the colour, near or at a distance, seen 
under the trees, is not to be conceived. But if I were 
to go on describing for evermore, I should give but a 
faint, and very often a false, idea of the different objects 
and the various combinations of them in this most intri- 
cate and delicious place ; besides, I tired myself out with 
describing at Loch Lomond, so I will hasten to the end 
of my tale. This reminds me of a sentence in a little 
pamphlet written by the minister of Callander, descriptive 
of the environs of that place. After having taken up at 


least six closely-printed pages with the Trossachs, he 
concludes thus, "In a word, the Trossachs beggar all 
description," a conclusion in which everybody who 
has been there will agree with him. I believe the word 
Trossachs signifies "many hills 33 : it is a name given to 
all the eminences at the foot of Loch Ketterine, and 
about half a mile beyond. 

We left the hut, retracing the few yards of road which 
we had climbed ; our boat lay at anchor under the rock 
in the last of all the compartments of the lake, a small 
oblong pool, almost shut up within itself, as several 
others had appeared to be, by jutting points of rock ; 
the termination of a long out-shooting of the water, 
pushed up between the steps of the main shore where 
the huts stand, and a broad promontory which, with its 
hillocks and points and lesser promontories, occupies the 
centre of the foot of the lake. A person sailing through 
the lake up the middle of it, would just as naturally sup- 
pose that the outlet was here as on the other side ; and 
so it might have been, with the most trifling change in 
he disposition of the ground, for at the end of this slip 
of water the lake is confined only by a gentle rising of a 
few yards towards an opening between the hills, a narrow 
pass or valley through which the river might have flowed. 
The road is carried through this valley, which only 
differs from the lower part of the vale of the lake in 
being excessively narrow, and without water ; it is en- 
closed by mountains, rocky mounds, hills and hillocks 
scattered over with birch-trees, and covered with Dutch 
myrtle and heather, even surpassing what we had seen 
before. Our mother Eve had no fairer, though a more 
diversified garden, to tend, than we found within this 
little close valley. It rained all the time, but the mists 
and calm air made us ample amends for a wetting. 

At the opening of the pass we climbed up a low 
eminence, and had an unexpected prospect suddenly 
before us another lake, small compared with Loch 
Ketterine, though perhaps four miles long, but the misty 


air concealed the end of it. The transition from the 
solitary wildness of Loch Ketterine and the narrow valley 
or pass to this scene was very delightful : it was a gentle 
place, with lovely open bays, one small island, corn fields, 
woods, and a group of cottages. This vale seemed to 
have been made to be tributary to the comforts of man, 
Loch Ketterine for the lonely delight of Nature, and kind 
spirits delighting in beauty. The sky was grey and 
heavy, floating mists on the hill-sides, which softened 
the objects, and where we lost sight of the lake it ap- 
peared so near to the sky that they almost touched one 
another, giving a visionary beauty to the prospect. While 
we overlooked this quiet scene we could hear the stream 
rumbling among the rocks between the lakes, but the 
mists concealed any glimpse of it which we might have 
had. This small lake is called Loch Achray. 

We returned, of course, by the same road. Our guide 
repeated over and over again his lamentations that the 
day was so bad, though we had often told him not 
indeed with much hope that he would believe us that 
we were glad of it. As we walked along he pulled a 
leafy twig from a birch-tree, and, after smelling it, gave 
it to me, saying, how " sweet and halesome " it was, and 
that it was pleasant and very halesome on a fine summer's 
morning to sail under the banks where the birks are 
growing. This reminded me of the old Scotch songs, in 
which you continually hear of the "pu'ing the birks. 33 
Common as birches are in the north of England, I believe 
their sweet smell is a thing unnoticed among the peasants. 
We returned again to the huts to take a farewell look. 
We had shared our food with the ferryman and a traveller 
whom we had met here, who was going up the lake, and 
wished to lodge at the ferry-house, so we offered him a 
place in the boat Coleridge chose to walk. We took 
the same side of the lake as before, and had much delight 
in visiting the bays over again ; but the evening began 
to darken, and it rained so heavily before we had gone 
two miles that we were completely wet. It was dark 


when we landed, and on entering the house I was sick 
with cold. 

The good woman had provided, according to her 
promise, a better fire than we had found in the morning ; 
and indeed when I sate down in the chimney-corner of 
her smoky biggin' I thought I had never been more 
comfortable in my life. Coleridge had been there long 
enough to have a pan of coffee boiling for us, and having 
put our clothes in the way of drying, we all sate down, 
thankful for a shelter. We could not prevail upon the 
man of the house to draw near the fire, though he was 
cold and wet, or to suffer his wife to get him dry clothes 
till she had served us, which she did, though most will- 
ingly, not very expeditiously. A Cumberland man of 
the same rank would not have had such a notion of what 
was fit and right in his own house, or if he had, one 
would have accused him of servility ; but in the High- 
lander it only seemed like politeness, however erroneous 
and painful to us, naturally growing out of the dependence 
of the inferiors of the clan upon their laird ; he did not, 
however, refuse to let his wife bring out the whisky- 
bottle at our request : " She keeps a dram," as the phrase 
is ; indeed, I believe there is scarcely a lonely house by 
the wayside in Scotland where travellers may not be 
accommodated with a dram. We asked for sugar, butter, 
barley -bread, and milk, and with a smile and a stare 
more of kindness than wonder, she replied, "Ye'll get 
that," bringing each article separately. 

We caroused our cups of coffee, laughing like children 
at the strange atmosphere in which we were : the smoke 
came in gusts, and spread along the walls and above 
our heads in the chimney, where the hens were roosting 
like light clouds in the sky. We laughed and laughed 
again, in spite of the smarting of our eyes, yet had a 
quieter pleasure in observing the beauty of the beams 
and rafters gleaming between the clouds of smoke. They 
had been crusted over and varnished by many winters, 
till, where the firelight fell upon them, they were as glossy 



as black rocks on a sunny day cased in ice. When we 
had eaten our supper we sate about half an hour, and I 
think I had never felt so deeply the blessing of a hospi- 
table welcome and a warm fire. The man of the house 
repeated from time to time that we should often tell of 
this night when we got to our homes, and interposed 
praises of this, his own lake, which he had more than 
once, when we were returning in the boat, ventured to 
say was " bonnier than Loch Lomond." 

Our companion from the Trossachs, who it appeared 
was an Edinburgh drawing- master going during the 
vacation on a pedestrian tour to John o 3 Groat's House, 
was to sleep in the barn with William and Coleridge, 
where the man said he had plenty of dry hay. I do not 
believe that the hay of the Highlands is often very dry, 
but this year it had a better chance than usual : wet or 
dry, however, the next morning they said they had slept 
comfortably. When I went to bed, the mistress, desiring 
me to "go ben," attended me with a candle, and assured 
me that the bed was dry, though not " sic as I had been 
used to. :j It was of chaff; there were two others in the 
room, a cupboard and two chests, on one of which stood 
the milk in wooden vessels covered over ; I should have 
thought that milk so kept could not have been sweet, 
but the cheese and butter were good. The walls of the 
whole house were of stone unplastered. It consisted of 
three apartments, the cow-house at one end, the kitchen 
or house in the middle, and the spence at the other end. 
The rooms were divided, not up to the rigging, but only 
to the beginning of the roof, so that there was a free 
passage for light and smoke from one end of the house 
to the other. 

I went to bed some time before the family. The door 
was shut between us, and they had a bright fire, which 
I could not see; but the light it sent up among the 
varnished rafters and beams, which crossed each other 
in almost as intricate and fantastic a manner as I have 
seen the under-boughs of a large beech-tree withered by 


the depth of the shade above, produced the most beau- 
tiful effect that can be conceived. It was like what I 
should suppose an underground cave or temple to be, 
with a dripping or moist roof, and the moonlight entering 
in upon it by some means or other, and yet the colours 
were more like melted gems. I lay looking up till the 
light of the fire faded away, and the man and his wife 
and child had crept into their bed at the other end of the 
room. I did not sleep much, but passed a comfortable 
night, for my bed, though hard, was warm and clean : 
the unusualness of my situation prevented me from sleep- 
ing. I could hear the waves beat against the shore of 
the lake ; a little " syke " close to the door made a much 
louder noise ; and when I sate up in my bed I could see 
the lake through an open window-place at the bed's head. 
Add to this, it rained all night. I was less occupied by 
remembrance of the Trossachs, beautiful as they were, 
than the vision of the Highland hut, which I could not 
get out of my head. I thought of the Fairyland of 
Spenser, and what I had read in romance at other times, 
and then, what a feast would it be for a London panto- 
mime-maker, could he but transplant it to Drury Lane, 
with all its beautiful colours I 


Printed by R. & R. CLAKK, LIMITED, Edinburgh